The Philippines has been cited by the Framework Convention Alliance (FCA) for taking concrete steps toward protecting Filipinos from the global epidemic caused by tobacco use.
FCA represents 350 non-government organizations in more than 100 countries that support the World Health Organization-Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO-FCTC) of which the Philippines is signatory along with 173 other nations.
According to WHO Director-General Margaret Chan, the measures taken include the successful efforts in the Philippines to raise taxes on tobacco products; and the smoking ban in public places in 17 cities and towns being implemented by the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA).
In 2008, WHO introduced tobacco control measures to help countries implement the WHO Framework Convention. These are: Monitor tobacco use and prevention policies; Protect people from tobacco use; Offer help to quit tobacco use; Warn about the dangers of tobacco; Enforce bans on tobacco advertising, promotion, and sponsorship; and Raise taxes on tobacco or MPOWER.
Statistics showed that tobacco use commonly leads to diseases affecting the heart and lungs, with smoking being a major risk factor for heart attacks, strokes, pulmonary disease and lung cancer.