The group Responsible Vapers show off their vapes at the DOH in Manila where talks on the rules and regulations regarding the use of electronic cigarettes are ongoing.
KJ Rosales
DOH pushing for outright ban on e-cigarettes
Alexis Romero (Philstar.com) - October 30, 2019 - 9:48pm

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health is pushing for an outright ban on electronic cigarettes, saying users of the product are exposed to health risks.  

Health Undersecretary Eric Domingo said the rising use of electornic cigarettes is "alarming," claiming that the product is being used even by some elementary students.

"If the DOH would have its way, we would go for an outright ban," Domingo told reporters Wednesday in Malacañang.

"Even if the packaging and promotion is enticing to the youth, it is not for young people. These products are not good alternatives to normal or regular cigarettes," he added.  

Domingo said there have been 1,604 recorded cases of EVALI or "e-cigarette or vaping product use associated lung injury" in the United States, 34 of which have resulted in deaths.

He said about one percent of Filipinos are now into vaping. 

In contrast, 22.7% of Filipinos smoke tobacco cigarettes and 18.7% smoke daily, according to a 2015 fact sheet for the Global Adult Tobacco Survey posted on the Philippine Statistics Authority website.

The government has raised excise taxes on tobacco prices, partly to discourage smoking and people are not supposed to smoke in public except in designated areas.

READ: DOH prohibits e-cigarettes, vapes in public places

"Let's not wait for an epidemic like this to happen in the Philippines," Domingo said.

Domingo said his agency would back bills that would ban electronic cigarettes or vapes.

"There are several countries that have now decided to ban e-cigarettes. There are two tracks, to ban it or to regulate it...here, many are using and many are selling it, it's there. So regulation would be the softer way, but for health outcomes, an outright ban would be the best and will definitely improve health outcomes," he added.

DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH ELECTRONIC CIGARETTES VAPING
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