CSC chair chided over stand vs e-cigarettes
Two major e-cigarette consumer groups are taking Civil Service Commission (CSC) chairperson Alicia Dela Rosa-Bala to task for allegedly supporting a proposal to ban electronic cigarettes during an international conference on tobacco control, stressing it was “obviously beyond the expertise and jurisdiction of the CSC to do so.”
The Vapers Philippines and the PRO Vape consumer groups questioned the presence of Bala at the recent Conference of Parties 7 (COP 7) for the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control in New Delhi, India from Nov.7-12.
“According to fellow vapers in Europe, Bala as head of the Philippine delegation, supported a proposal that would allow an outright ban of e-cigarettes without prior consultation with the Philippine vaping community,” Mark Erana, spokesperson of the Vapers Philippines said.
“What is her expertise in calling for a ban on e-cigarettes? The civil service has a lot of problems that need fixing,” Alan Marciano, secretary general of PRO Vape said.
The CSC has received a P14 million grant from the Bloomberg Foundation supposedly to protect the bureaucracy from tobacco industry interference. “What is the purpose of this grant and how are they using it?” Marciano asked.
“E-cigarettes are different from regular cigarettes and these new products are a lot less dangerous to the health of consumers. In fact, we are encouraging smokers to switch to reduce their chances of getting smoking-related sickness,” Erana said.
Erana said e-cigarettes have been endorsed by the United Kingdom government as 95 percent safer than cigarettes. They are widely available in England, the United States and the European Union leading millions of smokers to quit cigarettes for good.