DOH bans use of vapes, e-cigarettes in public places
Robie de Guzman • July 3, 2019 • 2202
MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) has banned the use of vapes and electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) in public places.
Health Secretary Francisco Duque III on June 14 signed the Administrative Order (AO) 2009-0007 which prohibits the use of vapes (vaporizers) and e-cigarettes, as well as tasking local government units to apprehend violators.
The order imposes penalties on violators, depending on local ordinances enforced by the town or city where the smoker was apprehended.
The signing of the AO comes two years after President Rodrigo Duterte issued the Executive Order 25 which bans cigarette smoking in public and limits it to designated smoking areas.
This order will expand the smoking ban in public places to include vapes and e-cigarettes. Manufacturing, distribution and sale of vapes and related items will also be regulated.
The move follows the recommendation of the World Health Organization (WHO) Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) to regulate or ban the use of e-cigarettes and related products once it is proven that these also contain cancer-causing chemicals that are found in traditional cigarettes.
“We need to regulate this. We need to make sure that the nicotine delivery system as well as the electronic non-nicotine system kasama iyong e-cig, mga vapes at ng lahat ng mga ito will be subject to regulatory control,” Duque told reporters in an interview during the relaunching of DOH’s school-based immunization program on Wednesday.
The DOH said the AO is seen to take effect next month after it is published in a national publication. (with details from Aiko Miguel)
The National Kidney and Transplant Institute (NKTI) has turned its gymnasium into an alternative ward for leptospirosis patients.
This is to accommodate patients with leptospirosis and be provided with immediate treatment for the deadly disease.
The Department of Health (DOH) said the recent rains that caused flooding had contributed to the increase in the number of leptospirosis patients in Metro Manila alone.
To date, the DOH has recorded 106 fatalities and more than 900 cases of leptospirosis. 300 of which are from the NCR.
“It’s really a problem because you know the environmental, sanitation and hygiene do affect the health of our people because the local government, for example, do not do their efficient garbage collection, so certainly it raises the risk of the populace,” DOH Sec. Francisco Duque added.
This, however, is still low compared to what was recorded last year in the last 2 years.
The DOH then urged the public to maintain cleanliness in their respective surroundings to prevent leptospirosis. (with details from Mai Bermudez) /mbmf
The National Capital Region (NCR) has recorded more than 11,000 dengue cases from January to August 10 this year.
This is 33% higher than what was recorded in the past five years.
“It’s starting to rise and just like the other regions that began with the alert levels, naging epidemic level na sila [they’ve reached the epidemic level]. Pwede pa ring sumipa ang dengue. Kaya hindi ho tayo pwedeng magpahinay-hinay [Dengue case can still go up. That’s why we should not be complacent],” Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Francisco Duque said.
The cities in the NCR where dengue cases have spiked include Paranaque, Malabon, Taguig, Makati, and Mandaluyong.
The DOH clarified that no medicine, supplement, or vaccine had been proven to cure dengue.
The health department also supports the move of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) to fund the distribution of food supplements which may help increase an individual’s platelet count to avoid dengue.
“Wala namang gamot ang dengue. Wala ring bakuna. At kung meron man sila ng inaalay na makakagamot, hindi po totoo iyan. Ito po ay food suppmement lamang at kinakailangan merong FDA certificate of product registration [There is no medicine for dengue. No vaccine either. And if there are some who offer something that’s supposed to cure dengue, it’s not true. It’s just a food supplement and it needs to have FDA certificate of product registration],” Duque added.
The health official then reminded the public to clean their surroundings and eradicate dengue-mosquito breeding areas through the 4 o’clock habit using the 4S strategy:
Search and Destroy
Seek Early Consultation
Support Space Spraying
This is to further prevent the number of dengue cases in Metro Manila to further exceed the health department’s alert threshold. (from the report of Aiko Miguel) /mbmf
“The vaccines that we are mentioning is not a solution or a silver bullet for the ongoing outbreak. We are open to any discussion with the health authorities to see what is needed, what do they need for the future,” Zinsou said.
In February this year, the FDA revoked the certificate of product registration of Dengvaxia.
Sanofi already filed an appeal two weeks ago and the DOH will release their decision on the issue on August 19.—AAC (with reports from Aiko Miguel)
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