Doctors beg Aquino: Order e-cigs ban
The Philippine Medical Association (PMA) on Sunday appealed to President Aquino to direct the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) to institute a ban on electronic cigarettes in accordance with health advisories.
“We urgently appeal to Mr. Aquino and the government to immediately address this new but clear and present danger to the health of the nation, most especially our children,” said PMA president Dr. Leo Olarte in a statement.
Olarte said the DILG must take action to ban the battery-operated devices following warnings from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Philippines’ Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Earlier, the WHO said there was a need for governments to regulate the sale of e-cigarettes as there was no proof that using them was safe and could help people kick the smoking habit.
The FDA issued advisories saying e-cigarettes were not emissions-free but contained “volatile organic substances” harmful to one’s health, like propylene glycol and carcinogenic metals like nickel and chromium.
The FDA also said it had not registered any electronic cigarette products in the country and would not register them as health products.
“This strong FDA statement is in effect a ban that was unfortunately not implemented due to lack of enforcement,” said Olarte.
He reiterated that e-cigarettes were not an “alternative lifestyle,” as claimed by its proponents and promoters, but rather a “new and alternative vice.”
“Despite the reported smoking of our President he can still be a crucial factor in our fight against the evils of smoking in this country. He proved this once when he supported our advocacy to raise sin taxes to discourage our people, most especially the youth, from smoking,” Olarte said.—Jocelyn R. Uy