Tobacco Control: A leverage to attain sustainable development goals in the Philippines
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Social Watch Philippines, Quezon City, Philippines
John Christian T. Payumo   

Social Watch Philippines, Science Library and Administration Building, P. Velasquez Street, University of the Philippines, Diliman Campus, Quezon City, Philippines
Publication date: 2021-09-02
Tob. Induc. Dis. 2021;19(Suppl 1):A39
One of the key elements of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is interconnectivity. As such, much can be said about the direct and indirect relation of one goal to the other. Banking in such connections, assessing the interconnection and interlinkages of goals and targets will be an accelerator to ensure that no one is truly left behind. With the extent of societal harm it produces, tobacco should be labelled as a development issue. Aside from health, the tobacco problem contributes to poverty, gender inequality, and environmental issues, to name a few.

Studying the relationships of tobacco control to other SDG targets should be a compelling task for government, advocates, and other stakeholders. In the Philippines, the “Philippine Development Plan” is the primary roadmap towards sustainable development until 2040. However, nowhere in the 297-page document was tobacco control recommended as an accelerator nor a leverage in the implementation of SDGs. This seeks to raise the level of discourse of tobacco control as a development issue to all stakeholders.

This paper will highlight a meta-synthesis of available data and researches from the Philippines, government, civil society organizations, and other key relevant groups and individuals.

The burdens of tobacco across the SDGs have been identified in the Philippines context, along with potential efforts to accelerate tobacco control for sustainable development. A set of recommendation is proposed to set the direction and mainstream tobacco control initiatives.

The Philippines has some of the best practices in tobacco control initiatives, but is lagging in considering it as a development issue. Data gathering and monitoring in some areas are not regular and the government agencies seem to have silo approaches – hence the need to mainstream tobacco control as a leverage in attaining SDGs.