PRO 7 to continue confiscating e-cig

EVEN if there is no law against using vape and electronic cigarettes in public, the Police Regional Office (PRO) 7 will continue confiscating these devices.

The lower units in Cebu and other provinces in Central Visayas were ordered to place signage announcing that using these devices is not allowed in public.

After President Rodrigo Duterte verbally ordered to arrest persons caught using vape in public, the Philippine National Police heeded him. Knowing there is no anti-vaping law, the police in Central Visayas only reprimanded users and seized their devices.

On Friday, Nov. 22, 2019, the Cebu City Police Office confiscated a total of 230 vape and electronic cigarette devices.

In the past three days, PRO 7 Director Valeriano de Leon noticed that only few devices have been confiscated. He believed the users understood the President’s order, which came out after the Department of Health received a report on the first recorded case of electronic cigarette or vaping-associated lung injury from Central Visayas.

De Leon said they would arrest persons caught smoking vape or electronic cigarettes in public if the latter resist and refuse to surrender their devices.

He welcomed Cebu City Councilor Dave Tumulak’s statement that the City Council would pass a resolution to regulate vaping.

Earlier, the President said there is no need to issue an executive order to ban vaping in public, adding that a law already regulates the use of products with nicotine. Duterte, however, did not mention the specific law, abs-cbn.com reported.

Some electronic cigarettes do not contain nicotine. However, some studies show that vaping, even without nicotine, can have harmful effects on the body, reported medicalnewstoday.com.

In the United States, the Associated Press (AP) reported last October that there were 1,080 confirmed and probable cases in 48 states and one US territory, including more than a dozen deaths related to vaping illness.

AP further reported that “no single device, ingredient or additive has been identified. Most of the patients say they vaped products containing THC, the high-producing ingredient in marijuana. Others say they vaped both THC and nicotine. A smaller group report they vaped only products containing nicotine.”

“Patients are coming into hospitals with cough, chest pain, shortness of breath, fatigue and vomiting. Imaging tests show lung injuries and doctors can’t find infections or other causes,” AP reported. (AYB, KAL)