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Nicotine and Cigarettes Essay


The price of the cigarettes here in the Philippines is one of the cheapest cigarettes worldwide based on my research, making it affordable to buy in many types of lifestyle whether you’re poor, average or rich. The number of people having diseases because of cigarettes kept increasing that causes death; the government by then, sin tax law has been approved by Benigno Aquino III – Philippines President as the answer for the increasing number of youth smokers, diseases and death. The purpose of this paper is to measure the effects of cigarettes prices upon youths who demand for it by using qualitative research on three (3) students of Lyceum of the Philippines – Laguna.

The results is confirmed that the higher the price the decrease in number of youth smoking in the Lyceum of the Philippines – Laguna which is a great asset in the government to provide more revenues for the health care programs; the lower the price, the increase in number of youth smoking with its consequences. But there are still instances that some youth smokers is still addicted to cigarettes making them push hard to avail the cigarettes even the number of sticks/day decrease, what’s more important for them is they could smoke. Another is most smokers are price sensitive and they tend to seek out measures to purchase less expensive cigarettes, which may decrease future cessation efforts.


Smoking is one of the alarming issues in the Philippines which are now recognized as number one smoking country in Southeast Asia because of its cheap price of cigarettes. In line with this, the number of teenage smokers is rising, And probably a lot of students including Lyceum of the Philippines – Laguna got affected by cigarette smoking; some youth tend to use cigarettes for the first time during high school years without fully aware of the health consequences of smoking; A lot of them failed to stop smoking because of the addiction of cigarettes even sometimes they still assume that they can stop someday.

The Sin Tax Law has been signed by President Benigno Aquino III on 20th of December 2011, which aims to make health benefits available for all, and raise additional revenues. The large part of the revenues would go to the government’s health care programs.

The most significant anti smoking policies are smoke-free zones such as schools, cinemas etc., laws restricting access of minors to cigarettes, advertising, and promotion restrictions on cigarette products.


Questions of the topic:

1. How/When did you start smoking cigarettes?
2. How do you manage your allowance since you have cigarettes vices?
3. Since the Sin Tax reform bill has been implemented, what can you say about it? Are you going to quit smoking or still using cigarettes though the price is high?

This research aim to focus on the Lyceum of the Philippines – Laguna students if whether they got affected by the cigarette prices or not. This topic also focuses to the reaction of the students of the Sin Tax Law. In line with this, we all know that smoking is proven hazard to health and associated to over 40 diseases worldwide; all smokers know about it, it’s addictive because of its powerful drug called nicotine.

This means smokers start to make a mental relationship between the act of smoking and start feeling good; and as they continue practicing it they start to admire the taste of cigarettes or the feeling of smoking. Based on psychological study, youth and students start to smoke because they see people all around them doing the same thing; even in social media. If their friends smoke, they may feel pressured to do the same thing to feel accepted in the group; another is the excitement of experiencing something that is forbidden.



Every one of us is aware that smoking is dangerous to your health, but the population of cigarette consumers keeps increasing. Almost a tenth of Filipino teenagers are now smokers, and they can only be discouraged from the habit if cigarette prices go up but only by about a thousandfold or more. This is according to a survey of 13- to 17-year-olds conducted by the Social Weather Stations (SWS) in late August, at the height of Senate deliberations on increasing excise taxes on tobacco products, which will consequently increase cigarette prices. The bill seeks to tax tobacco products more not only to increase government revenues but precisely to discourage people from smoking and thus arrest diseases and productivity losses resulting from it.

The most number of smokers (28%) said they will stop smoking if the price of a cigarette stick increases to P10. The current prices of their preferred brands are P1-P3 per stick. Another chunk of smokers (16%) will stop smoking if cigarette prices increased to P5 per stick. Around 14% of them will stop smoking only if cigarette prices increase to as much as P100 per stick; 1% if prices go up to P200 per stick; and 3% if it reaches P1,000 per stick.

Peer influence is the primary reason for trying out smoking, and also for going back to smoking after quitting. There are more family members who smoke in the home of students who are current smokers and ever smokers.

Cigarette prices in the country would remain competitive despite an increase in the excise tax on tobacco products, Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said today.

“The price of cigarettes in the Philippines would still be among the lowest in the region even if prices are increased under the proposed sin tax measure,” said Lacierda. He said the lowest-priced brand is sold at P15. With the sin tax increase, this will go up to P26 pesos. Lacierda said this is lower than the same cigarette sold in Thailand at P72 pesos and in Indonesia at P48.50 pesos.

He also said moves to increase excise tax on tobacco products are consistent with the recommendation of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) of which the Philippines is a signatory.

“We have some of the cheapest (cigarette) prices in the world, “said pulmonologist Dr. Maricar Limpin, who is also the executive director of the FCTC Alliance Philippines. The FCTC refers to a global convention to which the Philippines is signatory, and which aims to put in place a set of WHO-recommended interventions to stop smoking worldwide.

Low prices and the “tingi” system, said Limpin, make cigarettes easily accessible. This is precisely why anti-tobacco advocates are seeking higher sin taxes.

“There are many poor people who have smoking-related diseases, “she said.” “Many people die earlier because of tobacco. A higher six tax bill is effective to deter the impoverished and the youth from smoking. It will protect their lives.”

“We know that (smoking) has negative effects. Why? What is the reason (for these low prices)?” There were even cigarettes in the provinces, said Latuja that were being sold for as low as P5 for a packet of 30s.

“No wonder that the smoking prevalence among our youth is increasing. Now they’re targeting the youth and women because the men are dying. They are looking for a new market so they can earn.”


The method used by the researcher in this study is qualitative research. It was intended to focus on the cigarette smoking status of the 3 students in Lyceum of the Philippines – Laguna.

The researcher did her interview through social networking site: Facebook for the two respondents while the other one is through voice record. The youth/teenagers interviewed indeed have an experience smoking cigarettes. The study made use of the following instruments:

• Cellphone Voice Recorder
• Internet

The interview questions consisted of three (3) questions. The questions is formulated to let the persons involved in the research to also realize on whether they’ll quit smoking or not; and whether they manage well their allowance or not. The respondents requested to keep their names confidential in this research.

Lyceum of the Philippines – Laguna was chosen as the location for this research because as I observe those students going to Waltermart Makiling or The Park, they smoke with their friends even there’s a no smoking sign not too far away from them. The researcher focus about the effects of cigarette prices to these students it’s to determine their behavior towards the current implemented price of cigarettes.


Based on the results of the interview, the three (3) respondent have the same reasons on how they started smoking “PEER PRESSURE” is the answer, and the age range through 13-16 years of age (High school). The two (2) of them aren’t that aware of the money they spent in cigarettes, they certainly do not manage their money for cigarettes because they’re not too addicted to it. As for the last respondent, she manages her money and even saves money for cigarettes because she thinks that consuming cigarettes is cool and gives a great feeling.

The two (2) respondents would still continue on smoking while the other will no longer continue since the price hike of cigarettes. One of the respondent find it great as a youth and student to implement the price hike of cigarettes since the most of its revenues will go to the health care programs of the government. He is also willing to stop smoking, he also added, the high price of the cigarettes may decrease the number of youth smokers here in the Lyceum of the Philippines – Laguna. As a whole the respondents are all affected by peer pressure and because of the low cost of cigarettes prices for the last few years.


Here are the references used to complete this research with the help of Google.

– http://global.tobaccofreekids.org/en/global_epidemic/philippines/ – http://www.rappler.com/nation/16209-teen-smokers-to-quit-if-cigarette-get-too-expensive-survey – http://www.philstar.com/breaking-news/2012/11/14/866694/philippine-cigarette-prices-remain-competitive-despite-sin-tax – http://www.interaksyon.com/article/45779/cigarette-prices-in-the-philippines-now-worlds-second-lowest




How/When did you start smoking cigarettes?
-2nd year high school, peer pressure

How do you manage you allowance since you have cigarette vices? -Hindi naman ako kaadikan sa yosi, maximum of 3 stick ng yosi na coconsume ko lagi. So di naman gaano naapektuhan allowance ko.

Since the price hike of cigarettes is implemented, what can you say about it? Are you going to quit smoking or still use cigarettes though the price is high? -I’ll still use cigarettes 2 stick/day.


How/When did you start smoking cigarettes?

How do you manage you allowance since you have cigarette vices? -di ko naman totally minanage yun allowance ko for “deathsticks” maximum of 3 ako nagamit nun.

Since the price hike of cigarettes is implemented, what can you say about it? Are you going to quit smoking or still use cigarettes though the price is high? -Since the last time I use deathsticks, I’ve quit smoking since then.


How/When did you start smoking cigarettes?
-highschool kasama ko yun bestfriend ko, nag yosi kami, tapos ayun ang cool, nalibang ako.

How do you manage you allowance since you have cigarette vices? -meron akong savings para sa yosi, alam mo naman kapag nasimulan na mahirap na pigilan, tsaka mura lang naman cigarettes nun e.

Since the price hike of cigarettes is implemented, what can you say about it? Are you going to quit smoking or still use cigarettes though the price is high? -syempre, sabihin natin andun na mataas na yun price, bibili parin ako kahit mataas yun price mga 2 sticks a day or 1 stick, mahirap talaga pigilan para sa aming mga smokers.


As I experience interviewing these students, they really do not want to get asked regards to their vice (smoking). They even requested to keep their names confidential so I respect their request also for the sake of my research. I tried to gather more respondents for this research but most of the students just ignore my request and some feel guilty so they do not want to get interviewed.

I also experienced trying to smoke during my high school, but for me it’s not the peer pressure but out of curiosity on why do a lot of youth students smoke, even the young; It’s not hard for me to stop since I didn’t appreciate smoking because I realized that I have allergy in smoke. Sometimes I wonder how do these students manage their money while having the kind of vice. My mom used to smoke and she spent a lot for it, and I hate it. I end up having this research and knowing that the cigarette price hike is implemented for the health care programs of the government, with the name used “Sin tax law”.

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