Public health and tobacco control experts strongly opposed the call for the Department of Health (DoH) to endorse vaping.
“It would be the height of absurdity for the Department of Health to endorse vaping. As far as the national and international scientific and medical community is concerned, vaping or the use of electronic cigarettes is not completely safe because these still emit toxic chemicals. And it is crucial that the public be informed about it,” said Dr. Jaime Galvez Tan, Board Member of HealthJustice and former Secretary of the DoH.
According to Dr. Domilyn Villarreiz, Smoke-free Program Manager of the Southeast Asia Tobacco Control Alliance (SEATCA), “studies show that vaping involves the inhalation of nicotine at the same levels as cigarettes and can maintain nicotine addiction. It also increases one’s likelihood of developing malignant and cardiovascular diseases. Fetal and adolescent exposure to it has particularly adverse effects on brain development. These are just a few reasons why vaping must also be banned in all public places where smoking is also banned.”
In an earlier press release by HealthJustice, Galvez Tan cited World Health Organization’s 2016 report on the Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems and Electronic Non-Nicotine Delivery Systems, which described nicotine as a ‘tumour promoter’.
The report cited further states: “[Nicotine] seems to be involved in the biology of malignant diseases, as well as of neurodegeneration. Fetal and adolescent nicotine exposure may have long-term consequences for brain development, potentially leading to learning and anxiety disorders. The evidence is sufficient to warn children and adolescents, pregnant women, and women of reproductive age against ENDS use and nicotine.”
“The tobacco industry, which has run out of sensible arguments in favor of smoking, is now trying to position vaping as a healthy substitute to smoking. That is a lie. There is no such thing as a healthy substitute to smoking,” added Dr. Galvez Tan.
HealthJustice Philippines is a Bloomberg Awardee for Global Tobacco Control. It is a Pro- gramme Partner of the NCD Alliance, an international network of health experts, health workers, advocates, and organizations working to reduce the burden of non-communicable diseases worldwide.
Southeast Asia Tobacco Control Alliance is a multi-sectoral non-governmental alliance promoting health and saving lives by assisting ASEAN countries to accelerate and effectively implement the evidence-based tobacco control measures contained in the WHO FCTC.
Download press release here.