Doctor’s group asks DU30 to veto vape bill

January 20, 2022 People's Journal 140 views

I-VETO ang vape bill!”

This was the unanimous appeal to President Rodrigo Duterte of a group of doctors in the country amid the Senate and Congress alleged hurried attempts to approve the controversial measure.

According to UP College of Medicine professor Doctor Tony Dans, the vape bill is a big threat to public health because it will encourage Filipinos, especially the youth to be hooked on vapes or e-cigarettes.

Dans, convenor of the Healthcare Professionals Alliance Against COVID-19, said it is disappointing that lawmakers prioritized the vape bill amid a surge in Omicron cases.

A total of 59 medical associations are appealing to President Duterte to junk the vape bill, Dans added.

Leading the petitioners are Dr. Benito Atienza, president of the Philippine Medical Association; Dra. Maricar Limpin, president of the Philippine College of Physicians; and Dr. Yul Dorotheo, executive director of the Southeast Asia Tobacco Control Alliance. “Sinasabing mapanganib umano ang paggamit ng vapes sa lungs o baga ng tao,” said pulmonologist Dra. Glynna Cabrera, pulmonologist of ng Lung Center of the Philippines and official of the Philippine College of Chest Physicians.

Dra. Philina Pablo-Villamor, head pulmonologist of the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center in Cebu, said COVID-19 primarily targets the lungs, and thus there is a greater chance vape users will be infected in the new surge.

Pediatric pulmonologist Dra. Corry Avanceña likewise warned that various chemicals in the vape juice could affect the full brain maturity of the youths if they get addicted to vapes early.

The doctors said the vape bill will overturn the strict government regulation under the Sin Tax Law.

The doctors stressed that the vape bill will lower “age of access” to vapes to 18 to 21 years old and will allow e-cigarette flavors to attract more youths.

The vape bill will remove the authority of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to regulate vapes or e-cigarettes, and transfer it to the Department of Trade Industry (DTI).

“I am beyond disappointed, I am beyond saddened that the products out there will no longer have at least the regulatory stamp of the FDA,” said Cayetano.

The bicameral version of the vape bill was approved last Enero 19 and is set for approval by Congress next week, and will then be transmitted to the President for his signature or veto.