Nine of 10 Filipino smokers want better alternatives to cigarettes, poll finds – Manila Bulletin
Nine in ten Filipino smokers believe the government should pass laws to encourage them to switch to less harmful alternatives to smoking, according to a recent survey by an Asian research network.
The study, conducted by ACORN Marketing & Research Consultants and commissioned by consumer advocacy group Vapers PH, finds that 94 percent of 2,000 respondents agree the government should adopt policies to encourage adult smokers to adopt alternatives. less harmful to smoking, while ensuring that these products are not used by young people or those under the age of 18.
ACORN is the largest independent Asian research network with full-service offices in 11 Asian countries, including the Philippines. She conducted the survey on the attitudes of Filipino tobacco and nicotine consumers from August 3 to 15, 2021, with a sample of 2,000 legal age smokers (over 18) and vapers (over 21 years old). ) at national scale.
Survey results show that 90 percent of those polled believe the government should find new ways to reduce the harm caused by cigarette smoking.
“The results of this investigation come at a crucial time when the Senate is deliberating on the vaporized nicotine products bill. We hope our Senators will listen to the voices of Filipino smokers and vapers when we call on them to pass the NPV Bill to encourage smokers to switch to less harmful alternatives to smoking, ”said Peter Paul Dator, President of Vapers PH, a vaping advocacy group in the country.
The Senate deliberates on Bill 2239, or the Vaporized Nicotine Products Regulation Act, which empowers the government to regulate the import, manufacture, sale, packaging, distribution, use and consumption of steam (electronic cigarettes) and heated tobacco products. (HTP).
About a million former Filipino smokers have already switched to new smoke-free products such as e-cigarettes and HTP which, according to several scientific studies, are less harmful than traditional cigarettes. Studies show that it is combustion smoke that releases substances that are harmful to the body, not nicotine, which is a food grade substance.
The Senate bill promotes a balanced policy for the proper regulation of new consumer products, using internationally accepted product standards to protect citizens from the dangers of unregulated and substandard vapor and products. heated tobacco sold in the market.
The House of Representatives earlier approved its own version of the measure – Bill 9007 or the “Non-combustible Nicotine Delivery Systems Regulation Act,” which seeks to reflect a public health strategy based on the principle of harm reduction from tobacco.
The results of the ACORN survey confirm the broad public support for the harm reduction of tobacco, or for the public health strategy that supports the use of less harmful alternatives to combustible cigarettes such as e-cigarettes, HTP and other smoke-free products.
“The majority have a positive perception, would consider switching to electronic cigarettes and heated tobacco products, and would like to have better access to specific information on these products,” the ACORN study said.
About 70% of those polled think e-cigarettes and HTP are better alternatives to cigarettes, and 88% of adult smokers would consider switching to smokeless alternatives, according to the survey.
It says 92% want better access to health-related information backed by scientific evidence, while 94% believe these smoke-free alternatives should have health warnings that accurately describe the risks.
The study indicates that a majority of respondents would like to know more about smokeless products, with 72% favoring health warnings on different products in cigarette packs and 66% favoring product promotions in cigarette packs. stores and kiosks.
About 58% of respondents say information should appear on posters and product placements in stores and kiosks, 52% agree that this data should be included in websites and mobile apps subject to a limit of age, and 52% support print ads in adult-only publications. readership.
When asked about the trial, purchase, and use, about 82 percent of those surveyed said the trial should be available in stores and kiosks, not just drugstores; 81% say the purchase should be available in stores and kiosks, outside of pharmacies; and 79 percent believe that the use of these products should be allowed in restricted vaping areas and public places outdoors.
About 71% of them say products should be allowed to be sold online on websites with age restrictions.
About 91 percent of those polled agree that instead of raising the minimum age, the government should focus on better enforcement of the current law to prevent use by young people.
About 88% believe that smokeless flavored products should be allowed, as long as they are not marketed or sold to non-smokers or young people. Up to 95% of consumers of e-cigarettes and heated tobacco report that the ability to use flavored cigarettes such as menthol is important in influencing their decision to try smoke-free alternatives such as e-cigarettes or consumer products. heated tobacco.
Study results show that 53% of e-cigarette and HTP users prefer the minty flavor, 19% stick with the tobacco flavor, and 28% want other flavors in these nicotine products. vaporized.
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