By Analou De Vera
An anti-smoking group has urged the government to impose a total ban on the use of electronic cigarettes and vaping products, amid the first reported case of electronic cigarette or vaping-associated lung injury (EVALI) in the country.
New Vois Association of the Philippines (NVAP) President Emer Rojas said that the use of electronic cigarettes is a “public health risk.”
“It has been the position of NVAP that e-cigs and vapes must be banned until the Food and Drug Administration will be able to come up with its guidelines to protect public health,” he said.
“Deaths due to cigarettes were recorded only after decades of use. That is why most victims are older people. E-cigarettes may be more deadly since people get sick and die in just a few years of vaping,” he added.
To note, the Department of Health (DOH) reported the first probable local case of EVALI that involved a 16-year old girl in Central Visayas last Friday.
The health department said that it was in “continuous communication with the attending pulmonologist for updates regarding the condition of the patient.”
Health Undersecretary Rolando Enrique Domingo said that electronic cigarette users should immediately seek medical help and “ask their doctors for ways to quit these harmful products.”
“No e-cigarette product should be accessible to young children and adolescents, who are uniquely susceptible to the harms of e-cigarettes and nicotine. I urge non-users not to even try e-cigarettes at all,” he said.