By Calvin Cordova
CEBU CITY—Police in Central Visayas will start apprehending persons who are using electronic cigarettes or vapes in public places.
Police Brig. Gen. Valeriano de Leon, chief of the Police Regional Office-Central Visayas (PRO 7), instructed his men to strictly implement President Rodrigo Duterte’s order banning the use of e-cigarettes in public places.
“I am ordering my men to arrest those who will smoke e-cigarettes and confiscate vapes in public places in Central Visayas. As what President Duterte said, this is an issue of public health and your police have this obligation to protect the people from the negative effects of the smoke coming from vapers,” de Leon said in a statement.
Station commanders were ordered to coordinate with barangay captains so that barangay tanods can be utilized in implementing the order.
De Leon will lead today’s inspection of vape stores in the Cebu City.
“There is the Executive Order 26 and this will be used to run after these vapers. They should not do it in public, otherwise, they will end up in police stations,” the PRO7 director added.
Interestingly, the first case of lung injury due to vaping was reported in Central Visayas.
Dr. Jaime Bernadas, regional director of Department of Health in Central Visayas (DOH 7), confirmed that a 16-year-old girl was admitted at the Mendero Medical Center in Consolacion town, northern Cebu after complaining of difficulty in breathing.
“The patient presented with pulmonary symptoms. She complained of difficulty in breathing due to respiratory triggers but after several dose of medications, the patient was discharged,” said Bernadas.
The medical finding showed that vaping was the cause of lung injury.
Bernadas said the DOH 7 has been campaigning against the use of e-cigarettes.
“The Food and Drugs Administration and our regulatory board are again clamoring to really regulate e-cigarettes in the country. It is no difference with smoking tobacco. We continue to campaign against it,” said Bernadas.
“We do not have really so many studies conducted to prove or disprove these theories but nevertheless, the physical harm is evident,” Bernadas added.