Health Secretary Francisco Duque III warned young Filipinos against picking up the habit of smoking, whether traditional or electronic cigarettes, as they can be harmful to health.
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Duque: Vaping should be banned below age 25
Sheila Crisostomo (The Philippine Star) - October 25, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — For Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, those below 25 years old should not be allowed to smoke either traditional or electronic cigarettes.

There are scientific studies that show “brain development can last until 25 years old,” according to Duque.

Because of this, he said smoking should be banned until this age for any individual.

“Nicotine affects brain development, that’s why we are moving for increasing the age to prohibit smoking or buying of cigarettes,” Duque told “The Chiefs” aired on Cignal TV’s One News the other night.

Under Section 32 of the Tobacco Regulation Act of 2003, however, smoking, buying and selling cigarettes are prohibited to minors or those below 18 years old.

Duque warned young Filipinos against picking up the habit of smoking, whether traditional or electronic cigarettes, as they can be harmful to health.

The health chief said even electronic cigarettes or vapes are addicting because they contain nicotine, a substance that “does not have any beneficial effect (to) one’s health.”

Duque noted that the proposals of some anti-smoking advocates to ban electronic cigarettes and vapes need to be studied thoroughly by the Deparment of Health (DOH) because it will require more scientific evidence.

“Essentially, that would be ideal, but while that is not yet happening... easier said than done because we need more evidence to support banning this. In the meantime, I think regulation should suffice,” he said.

Duque assured the public, though, that the DOH had already started documenting cases of lung injuries that may be related to the use of electronic cigarette products.

The DOH recently issued an order for all of its 72 hospitals to report “lung injuries with no other possible explanation but associated with vaping.”

ELECTRONIC CIGARETTES
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