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Medical groups renew call for veto of vape bill

Gaea Katreena Cabico - Philstar.com
Medical groups renew call for veto of vape bill
This photo illustration shows a customer smoking at a vape store in Manila on November 20, 2019
AFP / Dante Diosina Jr.

MANILA, Philippines — Medical groups renewed their appeal to President Rodrigo Duterte to veto a proposed measure seeking to lower the age of access to vaporized nicotine and non-nicotine products to 18 from 21.

In a briefing Wednesday, doctors from various medical societies stressed that lowering the age of access to vapor products will expose Filipinos, especially the youth, to harmful substances.

Dr. Minerva Calimag, president of the Philippine Medical Association, said the Vaporized Nicotine Products Regulation Bill contradicts the policies to safeguard the well-being of the citizens.

“We oppose the vape bill because we cannot risk endangering the health and safety of Filipinos, especially the youth,” Calimag said.

Dr. Rizalina Gonzalez, chair of the Philippine Pediatric Society Tobacco Control Advocacy Group, said that keeping the access to vape products to those aged 21 and above is a better way of keeping young Filipinos from “this non-essential hazardous habit.”

“It is not harm reduction, but a dangerous nicotine trap. This is a harmful introduction to our teens and young adults,” Gonzalez said, noting that it would be “very hard” for young teenagers to quit nicotine addiction.

The Department of Health and the Department of Education earlier asked Duterte to reject the bill.

The Child Rights Network called on Congress to transmit the consolidated House Bill 9007 and Senate Bill 2239 to Malacañang.

“We call on Congress to immediately transmit the bill. Almost half a year has passed since its ratification. Let the president exercise his authority, even in his last days in power,” CRN convenor Romeo Dongeto said in a statement Tuesday

.“And once the Vape Bill reaches your desk, Mr. President, on behalf of child rights advocates in the country, we implore you: veto this toxic legislation that has been the product of the tobacco industry’s moneyed lobbying efforts,” he added.

vuukle comment

PHILIPPINE MEDICAL ASSOCIATION

PHILIPPINE PEDIATRIC SOCIETY

TOBACCO CONTROL

VAPE BILL

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