MAMA Sita’s, the premium food brand established by renowned culinary artist and Filipino culture advocate Teresita “Mama Sita” Reyes, expressed its solid support to the proponents of the move to veto Senate Bill No. 2239 and House Bill 9007, otherwise known as the Vape Bill. The heirs and makers of Mama Sita’s share the belief of various civic groups and medical associations on the long-term dangers of vapes and heated tobacco products (HTPs).
In a recent letter to President Rodrigo Duterte, a group of civic organizations requested the president to veto the Vape Bill. The group cited the State’s mandate “to protect and promote the right to health of the people and instill health consciousness among them.”
It added, “Your administration is widely known for its strong stance against substance abuse. In this regard, we cannot allow nicotine abuse, likewise an addiction, to gain a foothold by loosening the regulation of vape products. We thus ask you, Mr. President, to veto the bill.”
In another letter to the president, the same concerns were raised by a group of concerned medical professionals that includes the Philippine Medical Association and the Philippine College of Physicians. It stated, “Countless lives have already been lost due to smoking-related diseases and vaping-related injuries; the last thing we need, especially during our current health crisis, is to push for legislation that endorses smoking and vaping. Supporting this bill is an utter disservice to the health, welfare, and wellbeing of the Filipino people.”
Mama Sita’s strong opposition to the Vape Bill echoes the brand’s own advocacy to safeguard the health and safety of the general public. More than a marketing catchphrase, its slogan, “Minanang Sarap, Natural na Sangkap,” encapsulates the company’s commitment to create products using the best manufacturing practices—by sourcing the best quality ingredients from responsible and eco-conscious growers and providers; and adhering to clean, safe, and sustainable manufacturing practices.
However, the makers of Mama Sita’s believe that tobacco can be used for more beneficial purposes. For instance, nicotine, the chief active constituent of tobacco, is known to have insecticidal properties used in fish ponds. Many fish breeders and growers treat fish ponds with nicotine prior to seeding fingerlings to protect them from natural enemies.
Such organic practices prove to be a safer alternative that can help transform the local freshwater fishing industry into a profitable business venture. In Cambodia, the Aquaculture & Freshwater Fishery Industry saw more than $1.7 billion in profits in the past year, with more than 380,000 tons of yield from the freshwater produce, reports the Khmer Times.
Furthermore, results of recent experimentations conducted by the Department of Agriculture and the National Tobacco Administration showed the great potential of tobacco as a pharmacological agent. The studies indicate the high inhibitory effects of tobacco extracts on the growth of various pathogens that include E. coli and K. pneumoniae.
The stalks, top leaves, stem, scraps and dusts are tobacco wastes, being biodegradable, can be utilized as promising alternatives to synthetic pesticides and fertilizers, as well as feeds for farm animals and even healthy food fit for human consumption.
These studies showed that other than its widespread use in manufacturing cigars, cigarettes and liquid vape solutions, tobacco has indeed other uses that have valuable commercial possibilities—and ones that do not harm the body or the environment.