Project and Country Background

Philippines has a population of 102 million people; 22.7 percent of the adult population and 14.5 percent of youth population smoke tobacco products.1 An estimated 93,737 people in the Philippines die each year from diseases caused by smoking.2

TPackSS worked with in-country collaborators to purchase cigarettes in three major cities: Manila, Cebu City and Davao City. Within each city, packs were collected from a sample of 12 economically and socially diverse neighborhoods. Data collectors purchased one of every unique cigarette pack available from vendors selected in each neighborhood. From April 30 to May 8, 2013, data collectors purchased 144 unique cigarette packs. Then from November 8 to November 17, 2016, data collectors purchased 114 unique cigarette packs.

The tobacco packaging and labeling requirements in effect at the time of data collection were used to assess each tobacco pack’s compliance with the requirements.  

Suggested Citation for Information on this Page: Tobacco Pack Surveillance System (TPackSS). Philippines: Project and Country Background. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. [Insert Last Updated Date].

As of 2010, Philip Morris International and Fortune Tobacco Corporation jointly held over 80 percent of the cigarette market share in the Philippines.
Campaign for Tobacco-free Kids Global Epidemic

Browse packs from Philippines

Highlights of Packaging and Labeling Requirements by Data Collection Year

Data collection dates Type of warning Warning label size and layout Number of warnings to be displayed Rotation Rules for misleading descriptors Other warning label requirements considered during coding

Apr. 30 to May 8, 2013

[144 unique packs collected]


30% of front


All labels displayed concurrently and are intended to be changed every 2 years


Warnings may not be placed where they may be concealed or damaged when opening the pack or by tax stamps or other required markings. Warning text: on the bottom of the front; black on a white background with black border; cover at least 50% of the warning display area. Notice of prohibition of sale to minors on 10% of one side panel of the pack

Nov. 8 to Nov. 17, 2016

[114 unique packs collected]

Picture and Text

50% of front, 50% of back


All labels displayed concurrently and are intended to be changed every 2 years

Some restrictions

Warning may not be obliterated, obscured, folded, severed or become unreadable when the tobacco pack is opened or closed or when a wrapper on the pack is removed. Nothing may obscure or be printed over the health warning including the tax stamp. Warning in the lower portion of the front and back of pack. Warning text: in Filipino on the front and in English on the back; no border/frame.

Tobacco packaging and labeling in the Philippines is regulated under Republic Act No. 9211, also referred to as the Tobacco Regulation Act of 2003. The Implementing Rules and Regulations of Republic Act No. 10643 provide requirements for use in implementing the provisions of the Graphic Health Warnings Law, Republic Act No. 10643.3

  1. WHO report on the global tobacco epidemic, Country profile Philippines. (2017). Retrieved October 25, 2018

  2. Global Burden of Disease Study 2017 (GBD 2017) Results by Location, Cause, and Risk Factor. Retrieved November 29, 2018

  3. Tobacco Control Laws Country Details for the Philippines: Packaging and Labeling. (2015). Retrieved April 21, 2016