Survey shows decrease in tobacco use prevalence among adults in city

BAGUIO CITY – A recent Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS) in the city showed a significant decrease in the prevalence of current tobacco use among adult residents.

City Health Services Office Medical Officer IV Dr. Nelson Hora bared in his talk during the Baguio City Smoke-Free Medium-Term Planning last April 22-24 that from the prevalence rate of 37.5 percent in 2014 and 34 percent in 2016, the figure dropped to 17 percent in 2019.

There was a slight decrease in tobacco use among men with 30 percent in 2019 from 32.1 percent in 2016 and 51.2 percent in 2014 while among women, the figure ebbed substantially to 7.3 percent this year from a high of 35.8 percent in 2016 and 21.8 percent in 2014.

The GATS was jointly conducted by the CHSO under City Health Officer Rowena Galpo and the St. Louis University School of Medicine Department of Family and Community Medicine which Hora also heads.

The local survey followed strictly the GATS standard guidelines utilized worldwide and covered the city's 16 health districts with a total of 1,949 respondents aged 15 years old and above.

The study also looked into the exposure to second hand smoke in the past 30 days and found that figures for this year showed not much improvement from 2016 as against the drastic drop from 2014.

Exposure in health care facility, government facility, public transport and restaurants in 2019 registered slight increases from the 2016 rates but were a vast improvement from the 2014 figures.

The percentage of adults who believe that smoking causes serious illness remained high at 99. 12 percent.

The average monthly expenditure for manufactured cigarettes skyrocketed to P1,000 this year as compared to P450 in 2016 and P 160 in 2014 while a look at the average expenditure per week among manufactured cigarette smokers showed that majority of the respondents spend P200-299 at 31 percent; P300-P399, 23 percent; P100-P199 at 22 percent;P100, 14 percent and P400-P499, 10 percent.

The GATS also showed the following:

*Percentage of current smokers by smoking status and sex:

Current smoker -- 17.6 percent overall; 30 percent men; and 7.3 percent women;

Daily smoker -- 12.8 percent overall; 22.7 percent men; and 4.3 percent women;

Occasional smoker -- 4.8 percent overall; 7.2 percent men; and 2.8 percent women.

*Percentage of adults exposed to tobacco smoke at home by smoking status and sex: 17.30 percent over all; and 17.29 percent non-smoker;

Male 33.33 percent, non-smoker 16.89 percent; Female 21.88 percent 17.52 non-smoker.

On the interest in quitting smoking, 37 percent indicated interest to quit someday but not in the next 12 months; 22 percent said they were thinking of quitting within next 12 months; 19 percent planning to quit within the next month; 18 percent not interested in quitting; and 4 percent do not know.

On E-cigarette use, it was revealed that 1.5 percent of the respondents used E-cigarettes 2 percent of whom males and 1.1 percent females.

As to age of E-cigarette users, 4.3 percent are 15-24 years old; 1.3 percent, 25-34 years old; 0.3 percent, 35-44; 0.7 45-54; and o percent 55 years old and above. – Aileen P. Refuerzo

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