‘This is anti-youth, anti-children’: Medical groups appeal to veto Vape Bill

Medical experts on Monday, Jan. 24, urged President Rodrigo Duterte to veto the controversial Vape Bill, reiterating that the measure could bring harm to the public, especially the youth and children.


The controversial Senate Bill 2239 or the Vaporized Nicotine Product bill seeks to further expand access to vaporized nicotine and non-nicotine products by regulating its importation, manufacture, sale packaging, distribution, and use.

Several medical experts, in a virtual press conference, appealed that the use of vape brings harm to the youth.

Anti-youth, anti-children, anti-health

“Ang vape bill na ito ay hindi makatarungan . Ito ay anti-youth, anti-children, anti-health. Dinagdagan pa nila ang flavors ng vape, dati dalawa ngayon ay 11. Pinababa din nito ang edad ng pwedeng gumamit from 21 to 18 (This vape bill is not fair. It is anti-youth, anti-children, anti-health. They even added vape flavors. Previously, it only has two but now it has 11. It also lowered the age of the user from 21 to 18),” said Philippine Medical Association (PMA) president Dr. Benny Atienza in a virtual press conference.

The bill sets the minimum age allowed to use vape or e-cigarettes to 18 years old. Currently, the minimum age allowed to use e-cigarettes is 21.

Meanwhile, former Food and Drug Administration (FDA) chief Dr. Eric Domingo reiterated that the FDA remains the “proper and competent” agency to regulate health devices, including vape.

Under the bill, retailers or distributors both for physical or online vape stores are required to be registered with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Securities Exchange Commission.

“Ito ay sinusunog at ipinapasok sa baga ng tao. FDA lamang ang may kakayahan to determine kung wala itong mga lason yung concentration niya ay ‘di nakamamatay (This is burned and injected into the human lungs. Only the FDA has the ability to determine if it is non-toxic and if its concentration is non-lethal),” reiterated Domingo.

On the belief that vaping 'protects the youth'

Previously, several medical professionals claimed that vaping is a “less harmful option” to move away from cigarettes if smokers find it hard to quit, but Dr. Corry Avanceña debunked the claims and stated that the bill will not protect the youth.

“Gusto nilang ibaba yung pwedeng bumili ng vape. If you smoke vape early, ‘yung part ng brain na affected ay ‘yung for higher learning, memory, and moods (They want to lower the age of those who can buy vape. If you smoke or vape early, the part of the brain that is affected is for higher learning, memory, and moods),” Avanceña said.

Pulmonologist and Philippine College of Physicians president Dr. Maricar Limpin likewise reiterated that the bill does not seek harm reduction.

“Maraming fallacies sa vape bill na ito. Hindi ito harm reduction. Itong mga industriya na ito – tobacco and vape – they merely want to expand their market (There are many fallacies in this vape bill. This is not harm reduction. There industries – tobacco and vape – they merely want to expand their market),” said Limpin.

Meanwhile, the Department of Health (DOH) previously stated that they are opposing the vape bill because vape liquids and its emissions contain chemicals such as nicotine, propylene glycol, carbonyls, and carbon monoxide that are either addictive, toxic, or can cause cancer.