Duterte to ban vaping, importation of e-cigarettes

PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday night, November 19, said he will ban vaping and the importation of e-cigarettes and other vaping devices because these are toxic and habit-forming.

He also issued a verbal order to arrest people who will be caught vaping in public.

“I will ban it - the use and importation of (vaping devices). I hope everybody is listening. You know why? Because it is toxic and government has the power to issue measures to protect public health and public interest,” the President said in a late night press conference at the Malacañang Tuesday.

He said e-cigarettes contain chemicals that can kill people. Vaping, or the use of electronic cigarettes and other vaping devices, is also habit-forming and can cause cancer, he added.

“Better stop it because I will order your arrest if you do it in the room. I am now ordering the law enforcement agencies to arrest anybody who - ano’ng tawag no’n - vaping in public,” the President said.

An executive order imposing the ban and arrest of those who vape in public will follow.

Duterte was asked for his comment on the Department of Health (DOH) announcement that a 16-year-old girl from Central Visayas has been confirmed to be the first case of electronic cigarette or vaping-associated lung injury (Evali) in the Philippines.

The girl was assessed to be in respiratory distress when she was rushed to the hospital after two weeks of suffering from cough. She was briefly confined at the intensive care unit (ICU) of the hospital.

The DOH did not divulge the identity of the girl, but assured that she has recovered and has abstained from using e-cigarettes and combustible cigarettes. (MVI/SunStar Philippines)