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Six Times that of Income: Cost of Medication of Victims of Cigarette Poisons in the Philippines

Updated on May 8, 2014

The Philippines will gain more by requiring manufacturers to remove poisons (X-rays) in cigarette than by increasing taxes on it

Cost of medication of victims of cigarette poisons is six times over that of taxes collected from the sale of cigarettes.

This is the gist of a news item of GMA News TV tonight, October 16,2012.

This news release is in relation to some bills filed in the Philippine Senate to raise taxes on cigarettes and alcohol.


What is disturbing is the cost of medication as compared with that of taxes collected from the consumption of the cause of disease. The cost of medication is almost 188.8 billion pesos while the tax collected from cigarettes is only 30 billion pesos, according to the University of the Philippines College of Medicine. There is no doubt that in terms of cost, the consumption of cigarettes is a social problem. To this cost must be added the opportunity costs of people who got sick and spent their time in hospitals or at home suffering and recuperating from diseases related to tobacco. That is not to mention the opportunity costs and suffering of relatives or proxies who took care of patients.

Out of a population of 90 million Filipinos, 240 die per day of tobacco-related diseases.

That is speaking only of people who smoked. Also affected are people who had inhaled second hand smoke.


The cigarette industry has already admitted that cigarettes contain polonium, a radioactive material that causes cancer and heart disease. President Obama of the United States had signed a congressional bill into law that puts the cigarette industry under the supervision of the Food and Drug Administration. The industry is mandated to reduce or remove polonium in cigarettes. [I have a Hub, "A New Law in USA Requires Manufacturers to Remove Poisons (X-rays) in Cigarettes."]

The Philippines must follow suit. Cigarette manufacturers in the Philippines must be required to remove polonium and lead from cigarettes.

Tobacco contains polonium 210 and lead 210 that are radioactive. These are unstable and decay into lead 206 that is stable. As they decay, they emit X-rays and generate free radicals that cause cancer and heart disease. (I have a Hub "How Free Radicals and X-rays in Cigarette Smoke, Not Tar, Cause Heart Disease and Cancer.") Polonium 210 has a half life of 138.4 days which means that a person who quits smoking now will have this material in his body for 276.6 days more. Lead 210 has a half life of 22 years which means that a person who quits smoking now will have lead in his body for 44 years more. During these periods X-rays and free radicals will put him/her at risk of cancer and heart disease. This is also true for people who have inhaled second hand smoke. {I have a Hub "To find ways to remove Cigarette Poisons (X-rays) from Smoking Quitters").

For over 50 years the cigarette industry.had known the existence of poisons in tobacco but hid this fact from the public and consumers up until 1999. In Congressional hearings of the United States in 1970s yet, the cigarette industry used the gambit that a direct link could not be established between smoking and cancer or heart disease. It attacked the statistical (epidemiological) evidence as inconclusive (Epstein, S.S. MD. The Politics of Cancer. 1978). A series of lawsuits against the cigarette industry forced it to admit the presence of poisons in cigarettes in 1999. That put an end to the denials and perjury that cigarettes cause heart disease and cancer.

Conventional medicine partly to blame

Conventional medicine is partly to blame because it has been barking at risk factors, like smoking, as associated with cancer and heart disease. It is known to conventional medicine that X-rays cause cancer but it failed to connect the radioactive materials in tobacco with cancer and heart disease. Instead, a lot of time and money are being spent in looking for ways to treat heart disease and cancer. Some scientists had already known the existence of radioactive materials in tobacco.

In 1964 yet Wilma E. Hunter of the Harvard University discovered that cigarette smoke contains polonium (Melpor. The radioactive polonium in tobacco leaf. She also found X-rays from smoke lodged in the bifurcations of lung tubules of those who smoked.

Dean Ornish, MD reported the presence of polonium in his book (Ornish, D., MD. Dr. Dean Ornish's Program for Reversing Heart Disease. 1990). The presence of polonium and lead in tobacco was reported by Dr. Elmer Cranton in 1984 (Cranton, E, MD and A. Brecher. Bypassing Bypass. 1984). Dr. Cranton appears to belong in integrative medicine who is specialized in chelation therapy. Dr. Ornish, who had trained in heart surgery, has turned his back on surgery and formulated a way to treat heart disease without the use of drugs.

Better than imposing tax

The Philippines stands to gain more by requiring the cigarette industry to remove polonium and lead in cigarettes. Better yet, the Philippines will gain tremendously by banning tobacco growing and switching to alternative crops like cotton, corn, mongo, and cassava.

Tobacco is not native to the Philippines. It was introduced by the Spaniards. Filipinos did not smoke to begin with. American Indians smoked to deepen their incantations. It was picked up by the English explorer Sir Walter Raleigh who introduced it to Europe. It was spread by some entrepreneurs who have made profits out of the addictive habit of smoking. Big Pharma has profited too by selling drugs to treat heart disease and cancer, the number one and number two killers in the world.


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