Regulate use of e-cigarettes » Manila Bulletin News



By Chito Chavez

Cancer support group New Vois Association of the Philippines (NVAP) had called on the government for regulating the use of e-cigarettes due to their potential harmful health effects.

NVAP President Emer Rojas said his group supports the Department of Health’s plan to regulate the use of e-cigarettes as they move to a nationwide smoking ban.

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“We can’t clear the air in public places from the dangers of tobacco smoke only for it to be replaced by something equally harmful if not more harmful to the people’s health,” Rojas said.

Initially introduced in 2004 as an alternative to traditional cigarettes, the battery-powered e-cigarettes, devices that heat liquid nicotine and produce vapor that is inhaled, have now transitioned to a multibillion-dollar industry targeting mostly the youth.

The World Lung Foundation’s Tobacco Atlas estimated that there were more than 7,700 e-cigarettes flavor available as of 2014 and that more than 200 flavors are being introduced to the market every month.

At present all major tobacco companies either have e-cigarette products or are developing one.

“While there has yet to be enough evidence as to the specific effects of e-cigarettes one can just wonder why the tobacco industry is aggressively producing and marketing this product. Remember that e-cigarettes still produce nicotine which is the addictive ingredient in any tobacco,” Rojas said.

With the executive order banning smoking in the entire country that was recently signed by President Duterte, Rojas said there is more reason to watch out for e-cigarettes as they are not covered by the new measure.

Rojas said Filipinos are unlikely to enjoy the fruits of a smoke-free public space if others are allowed to vape where people, especially children, congregate.

Marketed as an alternative to traditional cigarettes, there are fears that e-cigarettes might lead to renormalizing smoking among those who have quit and also make the vice more attractive to young people.

“E-cigarettes are tobacco products and being such should be regulated like all tobacco products,” he said.

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