High increase in cigarette prices will discourage youth smokers

Burning Cigarette

The National Youth Commission (NYC) called on lawmakers to guarantee that the Sin Tax Law that will be approved by Congress will considerably raise prices of cigarettes to discourage the younger generation from using tobacco.

The National Youth Commission Commissioner Perci Cendana said that if the Sin Tax Law will not lead to higher cost of cigarettes then it failures the intent of making cigarettes inaccessible to adolescents.

Commissioner Cendana tells that a small raise in cigarette costs will not reduce cigarette consumption of the Filipino teenagers. “A minimal raise will hardly have any dent on the cigarette use of adolescents. The increase in prices should be considerable enough to discourage the younger generation from tobacco use.”

According to a study by the Global Youth Tobacco Survey, if the cost of a stick increases to five pesos, a lot of smokers will give up smoking. The teen body sees cigarette use as an emerging health crisis. The National Youth Commission states that 2 out of 5 Filipino adolescents aged 13 to 15 used cigarettes in 2011.

The National Youth Commission Chair Leon Flores said that a Sin Tax Law that has small impact on cigarette prices is not faithful to the aim of preventing adolescent smoking. “A pro-youth Sin Tax Law is one that will force the rising generation not to buy cigarettes because of high price. A Sin Tax Law that won’t have that effect is anti-youth.”

At the same time, former Health Secretary Esperanza Cabral said on October 17 that they always support health, but now is the time to show support and action. One of the actions that lawmakers can do is to approve the real sin tax.

“Lawmakers should approve a ‘real’ sin tax bill that indicates they serve the Filipino people, not the cigarette companies,” Cabral said.

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