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Time to revisit the Vape Law

Manila Standard

Nearly two years ago, the Vape Bill lapsed into law which lowered age restriction of such products from 21 years to 18 years old, removed comprehensive ban on vapes and heated tobacco products in public places, and allowed their advertisement.

This Republic Act 11900 of July 25, 2022 aimed to regulate the “importation, sale, packaging, distribution, use and communication of vaporized nicotine and non-nicotine products and novel tobacco products,” like electronic cigarettes and heated tobacco products.

The law allows online sales and products with nicotine strengths up to 65 mg/mL (6.5 percent) and lowers the legal age of purchase from 21 to 18, which means there will be more young people vaping instead of smoking (the age to buy cigarettes is 18).

We seem to have conveniently forgotten that tobacco – vape or no vape– is the highest risk factor driving the most death and disability combined in 2019.

It was estimated that tobacco use accounted for more than 112,112 deaths or 27 percent of all deaths in the Philippines that year.

Of tobacco deaths, 96,000 or 85 percent were attributed to smoking, 22,000 or 19 percent were second-hand smoking

Researchers estimate that every year around 8 million people die an early death due to cigarette smoke, a complex mixture of chemical compounds bound to aerosol particles or are free in the gas phase – a major health problem for many decades.

We note that among top reasons for vape use among students have been online accessibility (32 percent), flavor (22 percent), and the belief that e-cgarettes are safer than cigarettes (17 percent).

Unlike regular cigarettes, e-cigarettes, which do not have tobacco, are battery-powered devices that have a heating element and a cartridge that contains liquid. Puffing on the device heats the liquid, which produces vapor.

Vaping has not been around for long enough for authorities to know the risks of long-term use. While vaping is substantially less harmful than smoking, it is unlikely to be totally harmless.

There’s the catch.

Thus, the healthiest option is not to smoke or vape. Health experts say if one were vaping to quit smoking, one should aim to eventually stop vaping too.

E-cigarettes produce several dangerous chemicals including acetaldehyde, acrolein, and formaldehyde.

According to researchers, emerging data suggest links to chronic lung disease and asthma as well as associations between dual use of e-cigarettes and smoking with cardiovascular disease.

Overall, here’s not much difference between smoking and vaping.

Commonly, smoking was thought to be more harmful because the product is being burnt and smoke inhaled into the lungs.

But research studies are coming out with very similar damage from heating up vaping solutions and inhaling that vapor into the lungs.

Check the e-cigarette smoke. Now.

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