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Vapers: Smokers want better alternative to cigarettes

Sheila Crisostomo - The Philippine Star
Vapers: Smokers want better alternative to cigarettes
Based on the survey conducted by Asian research network ACORN Marketing & Research Consultants, 94 percent of 2,000 respondents have agreed that the government should enact policies that would encourage adult smokers to use less harmful alternative cigarettes.
Edd Gumban, file

MANILA, Philippines — Nine of 10 Filipino smokers want a law that would encourage them to switch to less harmful alternatives to cigarettes, a survey commissioned by consumer advocacy group Vapers PH showed.

Based on the survey conducted by Asian research network ACORN Marketing & Research Consultants, 94 percent of 2,000 respondents have agreed that the government should enact policies that would encourage adult smokers to use less harmful alternative cigarettes.

Such policies would also ensure that these products will not be available to those aged 18 and below.

ACORN, the largest independent Asian research network with offices in 11 Asian countries including the Philippines, conducted the survey on the attitudes of Filipino tobacco and nicotine consumers from Aug. 3 to 15. The 2,000 respondents were legal-age smokers (above 18) and vapers (above 21) nationwide.

The survey showed that 90 percent of respondents believe that the government should come up with new ways to reduce the harm caused by smoking cigarettes.

According to Vape PH president Pete Paul Dator, the results of the survey “come at a crucial time when the Senate is deliberating on the Vaporized Nicotine Products (VNP) bill.”

“We hope that our senators will listen to the voice of Filipino smokers and vapers when we call on them to pass the VNP bill to encourage smokers to switch to less harmful alternatives to cigarettes,” Dator said in a statement.

The Senate is deliberating on Senate Bill No. 2239, or the Vaporized Nicotine Products Regulation Act, which empowers the government to regulate the importation, manufacture, sale, packaging, distribution, use and consumption of vapor (e-cigarettes) and heated tobacco products (HTPs).

The statement showed that about a million former smokers in the Philippines have already switched to novel smoke-free products such as electronic cigarettes and HTPs which, “according to several scientific studies, are less harmful than traditional cigarettes.”

The House of Representatives has approved its own version of the measure — House Bill 9007 or the “Non-Combustible Nicotine Delivery Systems Regulation Act” which seeks a public health strategy based on the principle of tobacco harm reduction.

In its statement, Vape PH said the results of the survey confirm the “wide public support for tobacco harm reduction, or the public health strategy that supports the use of less harmful alternatives to combustible cigarettes such as e-cigarettes, HTPs and other smoke-free products.”

“Majority have positive perception, would consider to switch to e-cigarettes and heated tobacco products, and would like to have greater access to accurate information about these products,” the survey reads.

The survey also revealed that 70 percent of respondents believe that e-cigarettes and HTPs are better alternatives to cigarettes and 88 percent of adult smokers would consider switching to smoke-free alternative products.

It also showed that 92 percent of respondents want greater access to health-related information backed up by scientific evidence, while 94 percent believe that these smoke-free alternatives should have health warnings that accurately describe the risks.

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