International Academics Support Vaping pH Measurement
Academics and experts from the international community have voiced their support for the approval of the draft law to regulate vaporized nicotine products in the Philippines, saying it will provide a less harmful alternative to cigarettes and reduce the number of smoking-related deaths.
The bill aims to regulate the use, manufacture, trade, sale, distribution and promotion of vaping products and heated tobacco products in the country. However, it will also lower the minimum age for e-cigarette use from 21 to 18.
Professor David Nutt, director of the Imperial College London Center for Psychedelic Research, said the Philippines would benefit if vaping was encouraged over cigarettes.
“My research almost 10 years ago showed that vaping was at least 25 times less harmful than cigarettes, and many subsequent studies have confirmed this risk ratio. The fear that vaping is causing young people to start smoking turned out to be unsubstantiated US data that reveals the most dramatic declines in youth smoking ever because they are vaping instead,” he added.
Professor Peter Hajek of Queen Mary University of London said e-cigarettes pose only a small fraction of the risk compared to smoking and also have the potential to make smoking obsolete. He argued that claims that e-cigarettes entice children to smoke are false and “rather deter young nicotine seekers from smoking”.
He said replacing smoking with e-cigarettes would significantly reduce smoking-related suffering and death from cancer, cardiovascular disease and lung disease. Hajek pointed out that regulations such as the vaping bill will encourage smokers to switch to these products.
Professor David Sweanor of the University of Ottawa also backed the bill’s passage, saying smoke inhalation has an appalling human toll.
“We can use substitution for those who would otherwise smoke cigarettes, and thus replicate what has dramatically reduced the risks of so many other goods, services and activities. The most toxic consumer product on the market should not be protected innovative alternatives, but rather driven out of the market by that innovation,” he said.
“President [Rodrigo] Duterte can embolden entrepreneurs and empower consumers to spark a public health revolution by signing the vaping law into law,” he said.
However, the Ministry of Health opposed the bill, saying it contradicts public health goals and international standards and also sets the country back in terms of progress in tobacco control.
“Vaping products are harmful and not without risk and should be regulated as health products due to their toxic substances and effects. Vaping liquids and their emissions contain chemicals such as nicotine, propylene glycol , carbonyls and carbon monoxide which are either addictive, toxic, or can cause cancer,” he said in a statement last December.