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8 Million Smokers Quit After Tax Hike in Philippines

Tax hikes on cigarettes have forced my Filipinos to quit, but it now seems manufacturers may be trying to flood the market before another round of tax hikes hits.

In a recent interview the president of the Philippine Society of General Internal Medicine Antonio Miguel Dans reportedly claimed that as many as 8 million locals have quit smoking due to the effect of tax hikes on the sale of tobacco.

The latest round of tax hikes on the sale of tobacco occurred in 2012, and were aimed specifically at reducing consumption of tobacco in the country.

In 2012 the estimated smoking rate in the country was approximately 31 percent, while it has now dropped to 23 percent, a drop equivalent to approximately 8 million people.

The supply of cigarettes in the Philippines between 2012 and 2015 fell by an estimated 25.9 percent.

However, over the course of 2015 the supply had risen by 9.1 percent, as manufacturers front-load their supplies now, in order to circumvent the hoked tax rates which will be enacted next year.

The Minister also said that the tax has been supplemented by new regulations requiring packets of cigarettes to be affixed with graphic labels showing the negative effects of smoking, a measure which has also had a positive effect on smoking cessation.

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