By Betheena Kae Unite
Electronic cigarettes and vapes were never approved as effective measure to make smokers quit and reduce tobacco harm, the Department of Health affirmed Friday after President Duterte ordered the ban on vaping in public places.
Health Undersecretary Eric Domingo refuted claims that electronic cigarettes and vapes can be a smoking cessation aid by stressing that there have been no sufficient evidence from a country or a regulatory agency that these could make people quit smoking.
“First of all, it has never been approved as a smoking cessation aid,” Domingo said. “At siyempre kung gusto talaga natin tumigil ng paninigarilyo, hindi naman ang solusyon doon, e, maghahanap ka ng ibang produkto na ibang set naman ng sakit ang kasama niyan (And if we really want to quit smoking, finding another product that may cause another set of disease is not the solution).”
“There are other ways (for us to ceases smoking). If we want smoking cessation we have our quitlines. We have our smoking cessation programs. Merong paggamit ng mga patch –for example nicotine patch or nicotine gum –na walang ipapasok sa katawan mo na ibang mga chemical (There are patch like nicotine patch or nicotine gum that can be used in order to avoid chemicals from entering the body),” Domingo added.
“So, as a smoking cessation aid, it’s really not recognized as that; and it is really not registered or regulated as that,” he furthered.
The statement came after reports stating that based on the seventh annual E-Cigarette Summit in London, findings were presented by scientists and academicians that e-cigarettes and vapes are an effective toll to reduce harm caused by tobacco and make smokers quit.
The President recently made a pronouncement to ban vaping in public places as well as the importation of such products, which the Health department supports.
“Well you know, the President has made a public pronouncement to ban it. So, we are supporting the President’s public pronouncement being our president, the head of the executive branch of government. So, we will have to enforce it. We will have to make sure that this is followed to the letter,” Health Secretary Francisco Duque III.
The secretary also noted that they will also have to wait for the Executive Order “that will really be clarifying the issues. ”