“PECIA and our 250 members do not claim e-cigarettes are smoking-cessation devices. We mandate our members to be responsible entrepreneurs by observing ethical business practices and ensuring the proper use of e-cigarettes as a lifestyle choice among adults looking for a less-harmful alternative to conventional cigarettes,” said the association’s president Joey Dulay in a letter.
Last month, Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte, announced a ban on the use and import of e-cigarettes, saying that anyone caught using the products will be arrested.
Duterte 74, once a heavy smoker himself who suffered health consequences because of his habit, rightfully holds a very harsh stance towards cigarettes. Unfortunately, he holds the same stance against vaping products, failing to understand that the devices are excellent smoking cessation and harm reduction tools. “This vaping, they say it is electronic. Don’t give me that s***. Better stop it, I will order your arrest if you do it in a room… That is like smoking. You contaminate people,” he said.
The ban was announced during a late night news conference after the President was asked about a Department of Health report, confirming the first case of lung injury related to vaping in the country. “I will ban it. The use and importation. You know why? Because it is toxic and government has the power to issue measures to protect public health and public interest,” said Duterte.
More misinformation about vaping and EVALI
Tobacco control advocate Dr. Ulysses Dorotheo, said that referring to e-cigarettes as either smoking cessation devices or safer alternatives really doesn’t matter as “there is already evidence of harm [with e-cigarettes].” “There are over 2,000 cases of lung injuries [in the US]…soon it is very possible that we will also face similar cases of lung injuries in the Philippines,” he said at a House joint panel hearing.
Meanwhile, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recently confirmed that the outbreak of EVALI, is not caused by vaping legal nicotine products, but by consuming Vitamin E Acetate, found in illegal THC products.
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