First case of vaping-related lung illness in Philippines reported

vaping man
This photo illustration shows a man exhaling smoke from an electronic cigarette in Washington, DC on September 12, 2019.
AFP / Eva Hambach

MANILA, Philippines (2nd update, 4:45 p.m.) — The Department of Health recently documented the first reported local case of “electronic-cigarette or vaping product use associated lung injury" or EVALI.

The first probable case of EVALI was a 16-year-old girl from Central Visayas who started smoking in March 2019.

DOH said the agency and the country’s Food and Drug Administration have reached out to the girl’s attending physician.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a vast majority of patients diagnosed with EVALI have suffered respiratory symptoms like shortness of breath, cough or chest pain. Others have suffered gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.

This development comes as cases of vaping-related illnesses in the United States have been climbing.

Several US states have banned or regulated the use of e-cigarettes after more than 2,000 people have developed lung damage. Of the figure, at least 39 died.

The Philippines' health department earlier called for an outright ban on e-cigarettes, saying users of the products are exposed to health risks.

DOH Undersecretary Eric Domingo previously said that about 1% of Filipinos, mostly youth, are into vaping.

The government of Pasay City on Monday implemented an ordinance prohibiting the use of vaping devices in public spaces. The local ordinance also prohibits sale of electronic cigarettes to or by minors. — Gaea Katreena Cabico; with reports from Sheila Crisostomo




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