Rules on use of e-cigarette, vapes out next week – DOH
Robie de Guzman • May 30, 2019 • 3086
MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) is looking to release an order detailing the regulations on the use of electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) and vapes next week, a health official said on Wednesday.
Health Assistant Secretary Atty. Charade Mercado-Grande said in a press briefing that the DOH’s Executive Department is poised to sign the order which may be released in the first week of June.
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.
“There’s no total ban, but more of regulation. That’s what we will do for now,” Mercado-Grande said.
The DOH explained that they are still in the process of examining all the chemicals used in e-cigarettes and vapes before implementing a total market ban.
“I’ll check on the classification if it is considered as pharmaceutical or what is the specific qualifications of the chemicals but definitely anything that we put in our body especially when there are studies that prove they are harmful to health, the DOH must do protective measures,” Mercado-Grande said.
The Health department further stated they are now working with the Department of Finance (DOF) for the proposed imposition of tax on e-cigarettes and vapes.
But DOF Undersecretary Karl Kendrick Chua admitted that gathering data for the proposal is a bit of a challenge as the country has no existing policy about its use.
“This is a less regulated market and unlike cigarettes outside the factory, there is the BIR that monitors. Because excise works like this: When a product goes out of the factory, pay tax. These are largely imported, so we are working to understand the market better,” he said.
Chua said they are working to propose to the Senate to include e-cigarettes and related devices among the products on which to impose excise tax.
“Eventually, we will see a shifting from the traditional cigarette to the e-cigarette and the moment. We determine the health risk. We will, of course, propose the appropriate tax so I think the funding will continue,” he said.
Based on their proposal, the funds expected to be collected from the additional tax will be used to finance the implementation of the government’s Universal Health Care program. (with details from Aiko Miguel)
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has ordered Department of Health (DOH)-controlled hospitals to report cases that are related to using vape.
This was after health officials in the United Stated confirmed on Tuesday (September 10) that a 50-year-old man died of lung disease linked to vape use.
According to Dr. Anton Javier, project manager of Product Research and Standards Development Division Center for Cosmetics in the FDA, they might not monitor any illnesses related to using vape just yet because of the latency period.
“Because of the latency period nga po baka po wala pa tayo makita just yet. Pwede po kasing nagve-vape ka ngayon pero iyong mga magiging sakit niyo down the line pa, (Because of the latency period, we might not see [incidence] just yet. You can actually use vape now but your illness might appear down the line)” he said.
However, an expert said the confirmed case in the United States should not be a cause of alarm.
“It’s been well proven by laboratories in the US that deaths in Kansas whatever it is, has got nothing to do with e-cigarettes its what these people has put in e cigarettes that contains adulterated contaminants of cannabis,” according to Harm Reduction Expert Dr. Tikki Pang.
The FDA had previously released a regulation on using vape or e-cigarettes. Manufacturers or retailers were given until October 25 to register their products to the FDA.
The FDA has also warned against the dangers of the chemicals found in vape products. This include cynemaldehide which causes blockage in the lungs which can lead to difficulty in breathing.
Another dangerous chemical, according to the FDA, is diacetyl which causes bronchylitis or inflammation of the lungs.—AAC (with reports from Mai Bermudez)
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo proposed legislation on Monday (September 9) to ban flavored e-cigarettes statewide in an effort to protect young people from the unknown consequences of vaping.
“Common sense says if you don’t know what you’re smoking, don’t smoke it,” Cuomo told reporters at a news conference. “And right now, we don’t know what you’re smoking in a lot of these vaping substances,” he said.
The governor’s announcement comes after a nationwide surge in mysterious, serious lung illnesses possibly related to vaping, which has also been linked to five deaths in the United States.
The decision is of a piece with how vaping is currently being viewed by many on the street in New York.
“You don’t know what the hell you’re smoking,” Brian, a construction worker, told Reuters. “You don’t know what they’re putting in that oil.”
U.S. public health officials on Friday announced that they are investigating about 450 cases of the illness across 33 states and one U.S. territory, including 41 cases in the state of New York. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said they have not linked the illnesses to any specific e-cigarette product or ingredient.
If the proposed legislation were to become law, New York would become the second state to ban flavored e-cigarettes, following Michigan, which passed a ban on Wednesday.
While e-cigarettes are promoted as a product to help smokers cut down or quit, health officials have expressed concerns that many e-cigarette flavors are designed to get a new generation hooked on nicotine.
Many of the reported illnesses involved vaping products, including cannabis products, containing vitamin E acetate, an oil derived from vitamin E that is potentially dangerous if inhaled,
Cuomo, sitting beside New York Commissioner of Health, Dr. Howard Zucker, also announced that the state’s Department of Health was issuing subpoenas to three e-cigarette companies, Honey Cut Labs LLC, Floraplex Terpenes and Mass Terpenes LLC. The Department of Health obtained samples from the three companies and found high levels of vitamin E acetate in their products.
Cuomo said stores that sell e-cigarettes will be required to disclose potential health consequences.
“It’s quite simple: Don’t do it,” Cuomo said. “Don’t do it because we don’t know if it’s safe.” (Reuters)
(Production by: Dan Fastenberg and Hussein al Waaile)
MANILA, Philippines – The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is calling on hospitals under the Department of Health (DOH) to report any cases of illness or injury related to the use of electronic cigarettes (e-cigarette) and vaping amid rising number of such cases in other countries.
“The FDA requests all DOH-retained hospitals to immediately communicate relevant case reports of injuries and illnesses documented arising from the use of these devices,” the agency said in an advisory.
The FDA said this is in the interest of evidence-based policy development, and in line with the emerging report of electronic cigarette-related injury and illnesses from Europe and North America.
The agency said the use of electronic nicotine and non-nicotine delivery systems (ENDS/ENNDS) are under the purview of the agency based on Republic Act 9711, the FDA said.
“In compliance with the Data Privacy Act of 2012, it is expected that the information provided will be anonymized in as much as they are thorough and extensive,” the agency said.
As of August 27, U.S. health authorities have monitored 215 possible cases of pulmonary illnesses, all patients have reported using e-cigarette products.
According to the USCDC, e-cigarettes can contain harmful or potentially harmful substances, including nicotine, heavy metals such as lead, volatile organic compounds, and cancer-causing chemicals.
Additionally, some e-cigarette products are used to deliver illicit substances, which may be acquired from unknown or unauthorized sources.
“Based on reports from several states, patients have experienced respiratory symptoms (cough, shortness of breath, or chest pain), and some have also experienced gastrointestinal symptoms (nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea) or non-specific constitutional symptoms (fatigue, fever, or weight loss). Symptoms typically develop over a period of days but sometimes can manifest over several weeks,” the advisory stated.
The USCDC have recommended some steps for clinicians, including the reporting of cases of severe pulmonary disease of unclear etiology and history of e-cigarette use within the past 90 days, to help determine the cause of these sicknesses.
The World Health Organization (WHO) earlier said the use of e-cigarettes should be regulated as there is no evidence proving they were a safer alternative to cigarettes, warning that it normalizes smoking and hooks young people.
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