Sin tax law on e-cigarettes ‘will save youths’
Sheila Crisostomo (The Philippine Star) - January 28, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Advocacy groups Health Justice  Philippines (HJP) and WomanHealth are looking forward to the strict implementation of the sin tax law on electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes), saying it will save many young Filipinos from the harmful effects of vaping products.

In a joint statement, the two groups noted that the enactment of Republic Act 11467 is a “score for public health” because the law also raises the “legal access” to vaping products from 18 to 21 years old.

“This is a step closer to saving our children from this new form of harmful nicotine addiction,” claimed Ana Maria Nemenzo of WomanHealth. 

Nemenzo  added the Department of Health should “further intensify its information drive on the ill effects of the use of e-cigarettes and heated tobacco products to properly warn Filipinos from experimenting on these hazardous products.” 

As of Jan. 14, 2,668 hospitalized cases of e-cigarette or vaping product use-associated lung injury – also known as EVALI – were reported to the United States’ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Of that number, 60 deaths were recorded.

According to HJP legal consultant Benedict Nisperos, President Duterte’s having signed the law last week was consistent with his pronouncement to ban vape use in public places because of its harmful effects on health. 

Based on the 2018 National Nutrition Survey, 20 percent of e-cigarette users in the Philippines are aged 10 to 19 years. This is three times higher than the proportion of youths smoking traditional cigarettes.

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