By Analou De Vera
The Department of Health (DOH) has cautioned the public against the use of electronic cigarettes.
“Current literature shows that composite contents of and emissions from these devices are not completely without harm,” the DOH said in a statement.
The DOH said that five medical specialty societies in the USA said that these devices are “health hazards.”
“The Department cautions the public regarding harmful chemicals in these devices such as nicotine, ultra-fine particles, carcinogens, heavy metals, and volatile organic compounds. Results generated from peer-reviewed studies show that e-cig juices contain high levels of addictive nicotine, which can result in acute or even fatal poisoning through ingestion and other means,” the DOH said.
“In addition to nicotine addiction, cases of nicotine toxicity in children of epidemic proportion have been documented in other countries with increasing prevalence of e-cigarette use. E-cigarette aerosol that users and bystanders breathe and exhale also contain harmful and potentially harmful substances including second-hand aerosols (SHA),” it added.
The health department appealed to parents, teachers, and health workers to educate children and adolescents about the health risks of e-cigarettes.
“The Department, together with the Food and Drug Administration, maintains that a series of long-term epidemiological and peer-reviewed studies are required to conclude that e-cigarettes are less harmful than conventional smoking,” said Health Secretary Francisco Duque III.
“While there is a lack of conclusive data regarding the long-term effects of using e-cigarettes, its health risks cannot be set aside. The precautionary principle recommends that, until conclusive data regarding their safety have been established, regulatory measures should aim at reducing exposures to these products,” he added.