Fewer young Filipinos drink and smoke – UP study

Fewer young Filipinos drink alcohol and smoke cigarettes, according to the 2021 Young Adult Fertility and Sexuality Study (YAFS5) from the University of the Philippines Population Institute (UPPI), than she presented on Friday, October 14.

About 10,949 randomly selected young people between the ages of 15 and 24 from more than 900 randomly selected barangays in the country participated in the 2021 in-depth study.

“Out of 10 young adult Filipinos, only three currently drink, one smokes and almost none use illicit drugs. These are among the key findings of the Young Adult Fertility and Sexuality Study 2021 (YAFS5), revealing that substance use among young people generally decreased in 2021,” UPPI said in a press release. .

The study showed that 12% of young respondents said they smoked cigarettes, up from 20% in 2013.

Source: University of the Philippines Population Institute

Young Filipinos who drank alcohol rose from 27% in 2013 to 29% in 2021.

“About 45% of drinkers said they were drinking less during the pandemic, while 65% said they wanted to stop drinking,” the study said.

The study also showed that “the share of young drug users was almost zero (0.1%) in 2021, down sharply from the 2.4% recorded in 2002”.

Source: University of the Philippines Population Institute

Although the researchers did not specify the reason for the drop in numbers, the UPPI mentioned the increased cost of these vices due to the Sin Tax Act in its statement to the media.

“Government and civil society groups have taken bold action against excessive substance use, including through the Sin Tax Act of 2012, which aims, in part, to reduce tobacco consumption. and alcohol. Reducing tobacco use and the harmful use of alcohol is also among the global targets of Sustainable Development Goal 3, which is about promoting health and well-being for all,” said UPPI .

Disaggregated by region, the study found that Central Visayas had the highest number of young drinkers and smokers, with 48% of young people reporting alcohol consumption.

The study did not publish specific numbers of smokers by region, but said Central and Western Visayas had the most young smokers.

“Overall, the latest data points to a positive change in young people’s non-sexual risk behaviors. However, some emerging health risks are worth considering. These include vaping, which has been tried by 16% of young people,” UPPI said.

YAFS has been monitoring substance use among young Filipinos, including alcohol, nicotine, and illicit drugs since 1994.

HIV awareness drops

Awareness of HIV/AIDS among young Filipinos has also plummeted during the pandemic, UPPI researchers have found.

According to the study, awareness of HIV/AIDS is 76% in 2021, down 19% from 1994, when awareness peaked at 95%.

Among those who have heard of HIV/AIDS, the researchers tested their knowledge of how one can contract HIV/AIDS.

More than half, or 52% of young people, incorrectly stated that a person can get HIV by sharing food with an HIV-positive person.

“In contrast, about two in five people did not believe that a healthy-looking person could have HIV,” UPPI said.

Across all regions, HIV awareness is highest in Central Visayas at 87% and lowest in BARMM at 39%. (READ: Cebu’s HIV problem is also a drug problem)

“Low awareness and knowledge of HIV and/or AIDS can block efforts to halt the number of HIV infections in the Philippines, which has the fastest growing HIV epidemic in the Asia region. -Pacific,” the UPPI said.

According to the latest figures, at least 115,100 Filipinos were living with HIV in 2020. “If the trend continues, the number of HIV cases is expected to reach over 330,000 by 2030,” the UPPI said.

Civil society organizations have promoted the use of condoms and other pharmaceutical prevention methods, such as pRep and PEP, to stem the number of new infections.

Antiretroviral drugs can also help people living with HIV live longer.

The full YAFS5 study is expected to be published in early 2023. – Rappler.com

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