It takes a smoker.

EDITORIAL

It takes a smoker to stop smoking and convince others to stop when things go bad. Unless one is a smoker, you cannot tell others to stop smoking because they simply wont. Only those who have been there can tell.

But thanks to our ex-smoker president who supports the law, and complains he has now a throat problem, and other legislators in congress who are supporters of the tobacco tax bill soon passed into law hopefully by the end of the 17th congress on June 7. The Lower House approved the tobacco tax bill version the other year yet in 2017.

The Senate-approved bill proposes to increase the tobacco tax up to P60 per pack of cigatrette gradually until P2023 from P35 tax per pack today under the TRAIN (Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion Act) law. The House version approved only P45 tax per pack until 2022. If both houses will compromise in the bicam, then it could hit P55 tax per pack.

A pack of cigarette now costs P85 for Winston and similar others, including tax of P35 per pack. With the gradual increase the cost per pack of cigarettes will surely hit over a hundred pesos per pack and those who still want to smoke expensive cigarettes are surely out of their mind. They are both destroying their pockets and their bodies. It can only be called crazy.

What does increased tobacco taxes do to help society:

1.It will provide funds for universal health care of the Filipinos , a ready budget for health care for the poor sick people; 2. It will avoid the deaths of 12 filipinos daily due to cigarette smoking; 3. When cigarette is expensive, only a few can afford to smoke, thus preserve the health of thousands; healthy people are productive people; the World Health Organization says raising the taxes to P45 per pack will prevent the deaths of 300,000 people due to smoking-related diseases. If nothing was done to raise to tobacco taxes, there would have been an increase of 250,000 new smokers every year.

Thus we believe that by the end of the 17th Congress the new tobacco tax bill shall have been passed into law by President Duterte who is himself an anti smoking advocate , due obviously to his throat disease which has caught him due to heavy smoking and drinking in the past.