Duterte to ban vaping
Location: Manila, Philippines
Date Published: November 20, 2019
In response to growing concern over health risks, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte announced on Tuesday that he will ban the use of vaping devices or e-cigarettes in public, as well as the importation of such devices.
"I will ban it. I will ban it, the use and importation," Duterte told reporters.
"You know why? Because it is toxic, and government has the power to issue measures to protect public health and public interest," he added.
Duterte said those who will violate his order will be arrested.
"Better stop it because I will order your arrest if you do it in a room. I am now ordering the law-enforcement agencies to arrest anybody vaping in public. That is like smoking," he added.
The Philippines earlier confirmed its first reported case of an illness related to vaping or the use of e-cigarettes, one involving a teenage girl.
The Department of Health (DOH) said it received the report on a recorded case of electronic cigarette or vaping-associated lung injury (EVALI) from Central Visayas. It said the patient is a 16-year-old girl who has been using e-cigarettes for 6 months. The health department said she was into "dual use," "concurrently" smoking regular cigarettes.
The DOH said the girl was admitted to hospital on Oct. 21 complaining of "sudden-onset severe shortness of breath."
The DOH earlier called for an outright ban on vaping as it warned Filipinos that e-cigarettes are not a proven nicotine replacement therapy and can cause lung illness.
Around 1 million Filipinos use e-cigarettes, according to the DOH.
In the United States, some 42 people have died while 2,172 were sickened from the use of e-cigarettes as of Nov. 14. More than three-quarters of that sickened used tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the primary psychoactive substance of marijuana, with or without nicotine products.
Of the THC-containing products, two-thirds also tested positive for Vitamin E acetate, a cutting agent believed to be used to stretch the amount of THC oil, and an early suspect in efforts to determine the cause of the injuries, according to a Reuters report.
The American Medical Association on Tuesday called for an immediate ban on all electronic cigarettes and vaping devices. The group adopted the sweeping stance at a policy-making meeting in San Diego. It aims to lobby for state and federal laws, regulations or legal action to achieve a ban, but the industry is sure to fight back.
The AMA cited a surge in underage teen use of e-cigarettes, which typically heat a solution that contains nicotine.
“It’s simple, we must keep nicotine products out of the hands of young people.” Dr. Patrice Harris, AMA’s president, said in a statement.
The AMA has previously sought bans on e-cigarette flavors and ads.
Some observers say the AMA’s position is flawed and has little chance of achieving a sweeping ban.
“I would be 100% with the AMA if they were seeking a ban on all tobacco products that are smoked, including e-cigarettes,” said Jonathan Foulds, a tobacco addiction specialist at Penn State University. “But right now, nicotine electronic cigarettes are competing with and replacing the most harmful legal product in this country.”