DOH urged: Endorse vaping

In this photo, taken April 23, 2014, e-cigarettes appear on display at a Vape store in Chicago. US Sen. Charles Schumer is increasing the heat on the federal government to consider recalling e-cigarette batteries and devices that explode and catch fire, injuring users. The New York Democrat calls e-cigarettes “ticking time bombs.” (Photo by NAM Y. HUH/AP)

Philippine health authorities are being urged to endorse electronic cigarettes (e-cigs) as part of the country’s tobacco control program after an international study found them to be far less harmful than smoking.

Prof. John Newton, director for Health Improvement of Public Health England (PHE), said vaping was found to be “95 percent less harmful” than cigarette smoking.

PHE recommended that e-cigarettes, alongside nicotine replacement therapies, be made available at hospital shops for smokers who want to quit.

A local vapers’ group said the latest PHE report validated its position that e-cigarettes were far safer than cigarettes.

“Listen to the experts,” said Tom Pinlac, head of The Vapers Philippines. He said it was “time for the Department of Health to look into this report so they can recommend e-cigarettes and heated-tobacco products to smokers who want to quit.”

Edward Gatchalian, president of Philippine E-Liquid Manufacturers Association, said more than 17 million Filipinos could benefit from vaping.

With 87,000 deaths every year attributed to smoking, smokers should switch to vaping if they want to quit, said Gatchalian. “This is a clear message embodied in the PHE report,” he said.


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