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DOH seeks regulation of e-cigarettes, vapes

After President Rodrigo Duterte signed an executive order banning smoking in public places, the Department of Health is considering regulating the use of electronic cigarettes and vapes. File

MANILA, Philippines - After President Duterte signed an executive order banning smoking in public places, the Department of Health (DOH) is considering regulating the use of electronic cigarettes and vapes.

Health Secretary Paulyn Ubial said e-cigarettes and vapes are not covered by the smoking ban.

“We will make a separate issuance, like a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) order,” she said.

Ubial said she could not yet provide details about the proposed regulation since it is still under study.

The FDA had previously issued an advisory warning the public against the use of e-cigarettes.

Vaping is an alternative to smoking. It is the act of inhaling and exhaling the water vapor produced by an electric device called a vaporizer.

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E-cigarette, on the other hand, is a plastic and metal device that heats a liquid nicotine solution (e-juice) in a disposable cartridge while creating a light at the tip and producing a vapor that simulates the act of smoking. 

Some groups claimed that vapes and e-cigarettes are a safer alternative to tobacco products. But medical experts said there is no evidence to prove this.

According to Ubial, e-cigarettes and vaporizers are not included in Executive Order 26, which prohibits smoking in public places.

Under the EO, smoking is banned in schools, workplaces, government facilities, establishments that provide food and drinks, accommodations and professional services, outdoor spaces such as playgrounds, sport centers, church grounds, hospitals, transport terminals, markets, parks, resorts, waiting areas, walkways and sidewalks; elevators and stairwells; locations where fire hazards are present and public transportation. 

The DOH will draft the necessary implementing rules and regulations for the enforcement of the nationwide smoking ban.

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