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House Resolution No. 1885 was filed by Reps. Anthony Bravo (Coop-Nattco) and Jose Tejada (PDP-Laban, North Cotabato) and urges the Department of Health (DOH) to endorse e-cigarettes as part of the national tobacco control strategy.

The DOH has so far maintained a prohibitionist stance with regards to e-cigarettes. In December 2016, the DOH had declared that it agreed with the WHO’s position on avoiding potential risks for vapers, even though no such risks had been identified.

Bravo and Tejada’s measure points out that despite the government’s compliance with the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control and WHO’s instructions, “people still find a way to smoke.” “E-cigarettes offer an alternative. It is based on the idea of harm reduction: we can help smokers to switch from cigarettes to products that reduce the risks of smoking,” they added.

Spreading dangerous misinformation

In the UK, where the devices are fully endorsed as smoking cessation tools, smoking rates have reached an all time low.
Following this, the New Vois Association of the Philippines (NVAP) president Emer Rojas, released a statement wrongly arguing that the devices are not any safer than regular cigarettes, and that marketing them as such is a trap. “Studies have shown that exposure to e-cigarettes can be potentially dangerous to one’s health in the same way that secondhand smoke can be harmful to a nonsmoker,” said Rojas.

 

“We would like to urge our local officials to please be mindful of the rampant marketing of vaping products in the streets, in malls, and near schools to cater to young people,” he added.

President of Sigaw ng Kabataan Coalition also spoke up, inaccurately stating that there are no studies indicating that e-cigarettes are effective smoking cessation tools. “E-cigarettes are being marketed to the youth as less harmful than cigarettes and may help quit smoking but in fact contain nicotine which makes vaping product as addictive as regular cigarettes,” he said.

“Neither there is evidence that e-cigarettes can help people in smoking cessation,” added Aviles, but he is wrong. Numerous studies have indicated that e-cigarettes are the most effective smoking cessation tools to date.

Scientific studies indicate otherwise

Infact, a recent study by the University of East Anglia in the UK, has indicated that switching to vaping helps even those smokers who do not want to quit, manage to stop smoking.

A recent UK study has indicated that switching to vaping helps even those smokers who do not want to quit, manage to stop smoking.
The study which was funded by Cancer Research UK, indicated that smokers who switch to vaping are able to stay away from smoking in the long term, and many who had never intended to quit end up switching to the devices as they start enjoying vaping more than smoking.

The researchers interviewed 40 vapers, asking them numerous questions about their smoking history, prior quit attempts, and details about their vaping preferences such as preferred flavours and strength, and whether they had switched to vaping in attempt to quit smoking.

“We found that vaping may support long-term smoking abstinence,” said Dr Notley. “Not only does it substitute many of the physical, psychological, social and cultural elements of cigarette smoking, but it is pleasurable in its own right, as well as convenient and cheaper than smoking.”

Where vaping is endorsed, smoking rates drop

Inline with the above study, in the UK, where the devices are fully endorsed as smoking cessation tools, smoking rates have reached an all time low. ln fact the country has is now boasting the second lowest smoking rates in Europe, second only to Sweden, where snus is widely used as a safer alternative.

Read Further: Manila Bulletin

US Study: E-cigarettes most effective smoking cessation aids

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