Vape could lead to the consumption of alcohol and illegal drugs

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Smoking or vaping of electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) could pave the way for the consumption of alcohol and illegal drugs by young people and non-smokers, have warned health experts who have called the new products a ‘anti-health.

They called for the removal of a Senate bill to regulate the sale and consumption of these products which are promoted as harmless alternatives to traditional cigarettes.

“Nicotine is addictive (to) the chewing gum of the vape (ay) hindi po makahinto (Nicotine is addictive and those who use the vape can’t stop), ”warned Dr. Antonio Dans, president of the Asia Pacific Center for Evidence-Based Healthcare, at a press conference on August 31.

“Bakit papalaganapin po natin ang paggamit nito and isasama pa natin ang kabataan … Hindi lang po ito addicting, ito rin poay daan para maging addict (ang mga kabataan) in all illegal drugs (Why are we spreading their use and involving young people? They are not just drug addicts. They can also pave the way for them to become addicted to other illegal drugs), ”he said during the online event hosted by the Philippine College of Physicians (PCP), an association of internal medicine experts.

Dr Glynna Ong-Cabrera, pulmonologist and president of the Philippine College of Chest Physicians, added that vaping users “have a higher risk of drinking and binge drinking compared to non-smokers of cigarettes. electronic, ”citing a 2020 study published in The American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse.

Besides alcohol consumption, e-cigarettes will open the door to the use of illicit drugs such as cocaine, amphetamines, inhalation drugs, hallucinogens and ecstasy, Dans added, citing a 2017 study published in The American Journal on Addictions.

“If our government is really against drugs, why are we empowering young people to use illegal drugs? he said.

Junk vape bill

In, Cabrera, along with other medical experts, urged the Senate to reject SB 2239 or the Vaporized Nicotine Products Regulation Act which seeks to regulate the import, sale, manufacture, distribution and the use of vaping and heated tobacco (HTP) products.

Speaking in Filipino, Dans said: Our call is to throw the bill away. Don’t approve. We already have a lot of problems with the pandemic. Let’s not add to our problems.

SB 2239, sponsored by Senate Speaker Pro Tempore Ralph Recto, lowers the age of access to vaporized nicotine products (VNP) and HTP, and relaxes the restriction on vaping flavors. Its counterpart, the House Bill (HB) 9007 passed third and final reading in the Lower House last May.

PCP chairman and pulmonary medicine expert Dr Maricar Limpin also told reporters they oppose the proposed measure because it pushes the age of sale and use of new tobacco products to 18 in the past. 21-year-old instead, citing Law of the Republic (RA) 11467, a law that increased the excise tax on alcoholic products, electronic cigarettes and HTP.

“This had been fixed under RA11467, but now it’s down to 18,” she said.

In a Senate plenary session on August 24, Recto argued that the legal age was 18.

“(For) tobacco products today, the legal age is 18, alcohol is 18 … the age of majority is 18 … (but) on the basis of the sin tax law, he is 21 years old, “Recto said during an arraignment by the senator. Aquilino ‘Koko’ Pimentel.

As the sponsor of the bill, Recto says it is the “responsibility of retailers to verify the age of buyers.”

Vape bills are anti-youth, anti-health, and regressive

SB 2239 also removes the ban on all flavorings, making it appealing to young people, according to Dr Corry Avancena, head of the Philippine Academy of Pediatric Pulmonologists (PAPP) Anti-Smoking Working Group. .

“Aroma is one of the reasons young people are getting into vaping. And these aromas are not without danger, ”she said.

These are some of the ingredients in e-liquid or e-juice that are harmful to health, according to Avancena, an expert in pediatric pulmonology.

Read: VERA FILES FACT SHEET: Smoke-free alternatives to cigarettes explained

Avancena said that one of the main reasons some try it is because they see people smoke or vape, and they want to try these many flavors because they think e-cigarettes are safe compared to the. traditional tobacco smoke.

According to Kristine Latorre-Mendoza, an expert in pediatric neurology, young people, especially those aged 15 to 18, are easily influenced when they see others using the vape.

“At the age of 15 to 18, they are very vulnerable as this is when their abstract thinking and complex decision making is developed and enhanced,” she said.

“This vaping bill is anti-health, anti-youth, anti-poor, and will open (the door) to illicit drug use, if passed,” said Benito Atienza, president of the Philippine Medical Association (PMA), in the news. conference.

“We say this is a regressive bill because instead of pointing in the right direction, we are going astray. This is why this bill should be thrown out, ”Limpin added, echoing Atienza’s position.

Meanwhile, Limpin has also expressed opposition to transferring the regulation of new tobacco products from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to the Department of Commerce and Industry.

In short, the health sector is busy, the health sector is very busy … it is important for the lower house and the house bill 9007 which does not consider the post of the health sector for all other committee members.

(While we in the health sector were busy, the Lower House suddenly passed HB9007 and it seems they ignored our position because everything we were against is present in the project. of law) ”, she declared during the forum.

“It also looks like SB 2239 is rushing and it’s happening as we are all (busy) fighting COVID-19,” she added.

Editor’s note: VERA Files is part of the STOP the Smoke project, which is supported by the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, Inc. (The Union) and Bloomberg Philanthropies.


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