Lawmakers are just catching up on latest health findings, and are now trying to pass measures aiming to regulate the distribution of e-cigarettes in the country despite the health agency’s constant warning of their ill effects.
In the United States, President Donald Trump sought to ban vaping altogether amid an outbreak of vaping-related deaths.
Battery-powered e-cigarettes or vapes are devices that produce nicotine in the form of vapor, hence, the name. Unlike traditional tobacco, e-cigarettes do not have the smoke and tar that come with burning cigarette butts.
These have been marketed as “healthier” alternatives to cigarettes in recent years and some brands even offer vaping refills with tasty flavors such as mango and crème.
However, e-cigarettes were suddenly linked to be the cause of a mysterious lung disease that infected hundreds and killed at least six people in the United States.
It prompted federal health officials to call for stricter restrictions on vaping to prevent more victims of this disease.
In the Philippines, the Department of Health has been informing users, particularly the youth, of the health risks of vaping since 2017.
Some vaping devices were also found to be dangerous after a teenager’s vape exploded and left him with serious burns.
The World Health Organization and the DOH have since been called to regulate vape production in the country.
Despite such threats, government officials have yet to pass and implement any form of legislation on it.
The health department went ahead and issued an administrative order last June to prohibit vaping in public places such as schools, workplaces, government facilities and commercial centers.
The Senate ways and means committee have dealt with this matter again and invited leading vaping companies JUUL Labs Inc and Philip Morris International to the recent hearing.
Lawmakers have yet to decide whether e-cigarettes should be taxed the same way as traditional tobacco.
Some users in the Philippines concurred that vapes are also as dangerous as cigarettes, therefore, should be taxed the same.
They are harmful consumer products, we must always remember. Since they serve no purpose except bring harm to the public, they should be banned. #BanEcigs #BanHTPs #VapeHarms #TobaccoKills @piacayetano @migzzubiri @sotto_tito @ruffybiazon @joetgarcia @WinGatchalian74 @senatePH https://t.co/NZ9oiUCGqU
— RIGHTS, INC (@RightsIncPhil) September 12, 2019
How dangerous is vaping?
The US Food and Drug Administration noted on substances called tetrahydrocannabinol or THC and Vitamin E acetate found in samples health officials have tested for the investigation.
According to the FDA article, THC is “a psychoactive component of the marijuana plant” while vitamin E acetate is “a substance present in topical consumer products or dietary supplements.”
The agency suggested to avoid buying vapes on the street or to prohibit vaping, particularly among teenagers, given the uncertainty of the effects of these chemicals to their health.
“Because consumers cannot be sure whether any THC vaping products may contain Vitamin E acetate, consumers are urged to avoid buying vaping products on the street, and to refrain from using THC oil or modifying/adding any substances to products purchased in stores. Additionally, no youth should be using any vaping product, regardless of the substance,” the USFDA said.