The lawmakers refer to the success obtained in the UK following the endorsement of e-cigarettes as cessation tools, and mentioned the renowned reports by Public Health England (PHE) and the Royal College of Physicians (RCP), which indicate that vaping is at least 95% safer than smoking.
Then following a 2017 WHO statement, urging its member states to implement vaping bans, DOH Secretary Paulyn Ubial, had announced that the health department would proceed according to the WHO’s suggestions. In fact HR 1885 contradicts a number of filed bills which recommend e-cigarette bans.
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.
A positive step forward for public health
Today Public Health Experts will be pleased by the passing of this resolution, as not many expected such a legislature to be endorsed when the current president is renowned for his harsh stance against addiction. (During his presidential campaign, local president Rodrigo Duterte promised to kill drug “addicts” and dealers, saying that the fish in Manila would grow fat from feeding on these bodies.)
The Vapers Philippines, a pro-vaping organization that has been working tirelessly to promote the devices as safer alternatives, naturally feels reassured by the passing of this measure. “We thank our legislators for keeping an open mind to the growing body of scientific evidence supporting e-cigarettes as a significantly less harmful alternative to conventional cigarettes,” The Vapers Philippines president Peter Paul Dator told the Standard. “We urge the [Department of Health] to do the same and help save lives.”
Read Further: Vaping 360