Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, October 30) – The Department of Health (DOH) is pushing for a total ban on potentially deadly electronic cigarettes.
“If the DOH had its way, we would push for an outright ban of e-cigarettes,” Health Undersecretary Rolando Domingo said in a Malacañang briefing on Wednesday, as he raised the alarm on the rising number of young Filipinos hooked to vaping.
“Kami po ay nababahala sa DOH. May mga kabataan, pati sa sa elementarya pa lamang, gumagamit na sila ng vape at hindi nila naiisip na masama ito dahil nakakaengganyo,” he added.
[Translation: We, at DOH, are concerned. There are young people – including elementary students – who are using vape and they are not even aware of its ill effects on health because of how enticing it is.]
Domingo reiterated the agency’s earlier position that vape is not a safe alternative for traditional cigarette, contrary to advertisements.
“Ang disenyo ng vape ay hindi para sa mga bata at ang mga ganitong produkto hindi nakakabuting alternatibo sa normal na sigarilyo,” he said.
[Translation: Vape is not designed for young people and products like this are not a good alternative for normal cigarettes.]
Domingo said if Congress has the intention to turn the proposed ban into a written policy, then the DOH will support it. He then noted that a senator, whom he did not name, is drafting a bill about the proposal..
“And I think there is a possible legislation that will be proposed at the Senate and maybe [at] the House [of Representatives],” Domingo shared. “There is one senator who is drafting a bill and if passed in the Senate, we will support it,” he added.
Q: IS THE MANUFACTURE OR SALE OF E-CIGARETTES BANNED IN THE PHILIPPINES? A. No. Section 1 of the EO provides that only unregistered and/or adulterated e-cigarettes and other novel tobacco products are prohibited.
Q. IS THERE A BAN ON THE IMPORTATION OF E-CIGARETTES IN THE PHILIPPINES? A. No. Only the importation of unregistered or adulterated e-cigarettes or its components is prohibited. The FDA, DTI, and the Bureau of Customs have been tasked by the EO to formulate guidelines for this purpose.
Q. WHAT DOES THE EO COVER? A. This includes components of the e-cigarette system in the form of devices, e-liquids, solutions, or refills.
Q. WHERE SHOULD WE REGISTER THE E-CIGARETTE PRODUCTS THAT WE SELL? A. E-liquids, solutions, or refills forming components of e-cigarettes or heated tobacco products should be registered with the FDA. All devices should comply with product standards to be imposed by the DTI and the FDA.
Q. WHAT SHOULD WE DO IF WE WANT TO MANUFACTURE, DISTRIBUTE, IMPORT, MARKET, OR SELL E-CIGARETTES? A. You should secure a License to Operate (LTO) from the FDA.
Q. WHAT IS THE PROCEDURE FOR THE ISSUANCE OF A LICENSE TO OPERATE? A. There are no rules as of today. The EO requires the FDA, in consultation with relevant agencies and stakeholders, to formulate and issue the regulations and standards governing the registration for e-cigarettes and the issuance of LTOs within 30 days from 14 March 2020.
Q. WHEN DOES THE EO TAKE EFFECT? A. It provides that it shall be effective 15 days after its publication. As it was uploaded on the Official Gazette on 28 February 2020, it should be effective on 14 March 2020. This should be harmonized with RA No. 11467 which provides that manufacturers, distributors, importers, and sellers of vapor products are given a period of eighteen (18) months from the effectivity of the IRR of this Act to comply with the requirements under such IRR. It is submitted that the requirements for the industry will be effective within eighteen months from the issuance of regulations from the concerned government agencies. This should be clarified with the FDA during the upcoming stakeholder hearings. It is also submitted that the rules on public use and selling restrictions to persons below 21 years of age shall be effective on 14 March 2020.
Q. HOW IS VAPING DEFINED BY THE EO? A. Vaping is defined as having a powered e-cigarette or HTP, regardless of whether the vapor is actively inhaled or exhaled.
Q. WHAT DOES THE EO PROHIBIT?
Vaping is prohibited within enclosed public places and public conveyances, whether stationary or in motion, except in DSVAs. This means that vaping is still allowed in open public spaces under the EO. Do note that the rules for public vaping differ depending on the city. So consult your local ordinance to be sure. “Enclosed” means being covered by a roof or other structure serving the purpose of a roof and having one or more walls or sides, wherein the openings of the walls or sides have an aggregate area that is less than half of the total wall space, regardless of the type of material used for the roof, wall, or sides, and regardless of whether the structure is permanent or temporary. The enclosed character of a building or conveyance shall attach to all its areas, including its open spaces. “Public places” means all places, fixed or mobile, that are accessible or open to the public or places for collective use.
For persons-in-charge to allow smoking/ vaping in enclosed public places and public conveyances.
For any person to sell, distribute, or purchase e-cigarettes or HTPs from persons below TWENTY-ONE (21) years old. It shall not be a defense that the seller or distributor or buyer did not know the real age of the person he/she is transacting with. Neither shall it be a defense that he/she did not know nor had any reason to believe that the e-cigarette was for the consumption of the person who received it.
Use, sale, or purchase of e-cigarettes or HTPs, or their components by a person below TWENTY-ONE (21) years of age.
Ordering, instructing or compelling the use, lighting up, purchase, sale, distribution, delivery, advertisement, or promotion of e-cigarettes or HTPs, or their components by a person below TWENTY-ONE (21) years old.
Selling or distributing e-cigarettes in a school, public playground, youth hostels, recreational facilities for minors, areas frequented by minors, or within 100 meters from any point of the perimeter of these places.
Displaying or distributing advertisements or promotional materials of e-cigarettes or their components, such as, but not limited to leaflets, pos
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Cancer Research UK-funded researchers from the Wellcome Sanger Institute and UCL have discovered that compared to current smokers, people who had stopped smoking had more genetically healthy lung cells, which have a much lower risk of developing into cancer.
The study shows that quitting smoking could do much more than just stopping further damage to the lungs. Researchers believe it could also allow new, healthy cells to actively replenish the lining of our airways. This shift in proportion of healthy to damaged cells could help protect against cancer.
Dr. Michael Siegel is one of the most dedicated advocates of the vaping community who has been very vocal in his criticism of the government response to the “vaping-related” lung disease scandal in recent months. Currently a Professor of Public Health at Boston University, he has also spent two years previously working as a research scientist in the field of tobacco analysis for the CDC.
In late September, Siegel blasted his former employer for failing to adequately and swiftly inform the general population that THC vaping is the direct cause of the respiratory scare rather than the vaping of convention FDA-regulated nicotine vapes. Today, he is focusing his frustrations on state officials and their corresponding health departments who appear to be mimicking the CDC’s abysmal emergency response management strategies.
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Hon believed that “aerosolizing” nicotine, infusing it in a vapor rather than delivering it through smoke from tobacco, could help addicts sustain their habit without risking their life from exposure to tar and toxic chemicals. Hon’s product made its debut in 2003. His father died shortly afterward, but within a few years, e-cigarettes proliferated worldwide—their rapid adoption driven by the belief that they were safer than traditional cigarettes.
A regional group has confirmed that a Pasig trial court temporarily stopped the Department of Health (DOH) and Philippine Food and Drug Administration (FDA) from implementing an administrative order that would have imposed restrictive regulations on e-cigarettes or vapes.
Clarisse Virgino, a Philippine representative to the Coalition of Asia Pacific Tobacco Harm Reduction Advocates (CAPHRA), said a Pasig City Regional Trial Court issued a writ of preliminary injunction ordering Health Secretary Francisco T. Duque and Health Undersecretary and FDA Officer in Charge Rolando Enrique Domingo not to implement Administrative Order 2019-0007, entitled “Revised Rules and Regulations on Electronic Nicotine and Non-Nicotine Delivery System [ENDS/ENNDS],” which was set to take effect on October 24, 2019.