CAPHRA asks Duterte to sign vape bill to save 100,000 smokers a year | Inquirer News

CAPHRA asks Duterte to sign vape bill to save 100,000 smokers a year

By: - Contributor / @inquirerdotnet
07:05 PM February 28, 2022

An Asia-Pacific advocacy group sent a letter to President Rodrigo Duterte, pleading him to sign the vape bill into law and help save about 100,000 Filipinos who die from smoking each year.

The Coalition of Asia Pacific Tobacco Harm Reduction Advocates (CAPHRA) requested the President to urgently sign the Vaporized Nicotine Products Regulation Act into law which was earlier ratified by the Senate and the House of Representatives.

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“The weight of the scientific evidence shows that potentially thousands of Filipino lives can be saved by making this act the law of the land,” said CAPHRA, supported by its expert advisory group and member organizations throughout the Asia Pacific region.

CAPHRA noted that Public Health England, the leading health authority in the United Kingdom, concluded that vaping is at least 95-percent less harmful than combustible cigarettes. “We believe that the use of less harmful alternatives to traditional cigarettes will save about 100,000 Filipinos who die every year from smoking-related diseases,” CAPHRA said in the letter.

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The letter stated that signing the bill into law and giving Filipino smokers the option of choosing less harmful alternative nicotine products will create an enduring presidential legacy.

“It will prove to the world that President Duterte is a leader who put the health and well-being of his people, based on science, above the special interests of foreigners,” CAPHRA said.

The vape bill aims to regulate the use, manufacture, importation, sale, distribution, and promotion of vaping and heated tobacco products. It now awaits the President’s signature.

Once enacted, the vape bill will provide 16 million Filipino smokers with the world’s most effective smoking cessation tool, saving the lives and enhancing the health of millions of Filipino smokers and their families, friends, and co-workers, according to CAPHRA.

“Hundreds of peer-reviewed international scientific studies have found innovative smoke-free products such as e-cigarettes and heated tobacco products to be far less harmful than combustible tobacco and offer the best options to make smokers switch or quit. The act will ensure the regulation of these products, so that they meet government standards to protect consumers and will contribute revenue, via taxation,” said Nancy Loucas, Executive Coordinator of CAPHRA.

The Asia Pacific advocacy group said the use of non-combustible nicotine products is at the core of Tobacco Harm Reduction (THR)—a public health strategy designed to address the smoking problem by making available less harmful alternatives that do not produce smoke – the main source of toxic chemicals that cause cancer and chronic pulmonary heart diseases.

The letter noted that once the vape bill is signed into law, the Philippines will also join 67 countries around the world that have regulatory frameworks on vaping. It said countries that have legalized vaping and the use of other smoke-free products such as heated tobacco have since registered a dramatic decline in smoking prevalence.

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Enclosing an extensive bibliography of scientific information, CAPHRA concluded by respectfully asking the President to urgently sign the Vaporized Nicotine Products Regulation Act into law.

CAPHRA member organization Vapers PH commissioned ACORN Marketing & Research Consultants to conduct ‘A Survey of Attitudes Among Adult Tobacco & Nicotine Users in the Philippines’ last year. A staggering 94 percent of respondents agreed that the Philippine government should enact policies to encourage adult smokers to switch to less harmful alternatives to cigarettes.

A global collaboration of THR consumer groups, sCOPe, has launched a comprehensive library of online panel discussions and presentations. In November 2021, sCOPe broadcast around the clock during COP9 – the 9th Conference of Parties for the World Health Organization’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC). Access sCOPe’s online library visit here.

Boasting over 14,000 testimonials, CAPHRA is calling on those who’ve quit cigarettes through smoke-free nicotine alternatives to tell their story on www.righttovape.org

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