Too many Filipino teens are vaping or using electronic cigarettes. The health department cited a 110-percent increase in vape use among Filipino students aged 13 to 15, based on the results of the Global Youth Tobacco Survey conducted in 2015
Little do these children know that vaping gets them hooked on the harmful nicotine that is so efficiently delivered by the sleek devices into their still-developing bodies. Nicotine can have devastating effects on the teen’s attention, learning, and memory and may even contribute to developing anxiety disorders
One way to keep Filipino teens from vaping is to increase the age at which they can legally buy vapor products. However, a new law, the Vaporized Nicotine and Non-Nicotine Products Regulation Act, has Filipino health advocates up in arms because it does the opposite. The law lowers the age of access from 21 to 18 years old.
The advocates fear the law will lead to an epidemic of vaping among young people. Dr. Maricar Limpin, executive director of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control Alliance Philippines, said
: “This law has [made] … a dangerous product easily available to our youth at the height of an economic and health crisis.”
Atty. Benedict Nisperos of HealthJustice Philippines echoed Dr. Limpin’s sentiment in a statement. He said, “The right policy for the state should be pro-health and not pro-profit of a harmful industry. Our laws should protect our children, the youth, and non-smokers from easier access to these toxic products.”
Limpin, Nisperos, and advocates from NGOs ImagineLaw
and the Southeast Asia Tobacco Control Alliance pushed hard against the passage of the new law. National government agencies — the Department of Health, the Food and Drug Administration, the Department of Education — and many medical associations added their voices to the call for President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to junk
However, their call fell on deaf ears. Marcos
did not veto the bill and allowed it to lapse into law on July 25.
Alarmingly, a new study published in the scientific journal PLOS One
shows that “people who vape or smoke are at higher risk of death due to COVID-19,” reports ABC News