- The number of smokers using electronic cigarettes is growing. The e-cigarette business is also expanding
- Smokers claim that using e-cig is better than smoking tobacco or cigarettes as it does not pose a health risk
- World Health Organization warned the sale and use of electronic cigarettes
The World Health Organization (WHO) warned that the sale of the electronic cigarettes should be restricted or controlled by the government because a number of Filipino cigarette smokers has resorted to using e-cigarettes in high hopes of totally eradicating their nicotine addiction, claiming that it is a better option; however, the WHO mentioned that there is no evidence yet that proves that e-cigs are healthier alternatives to tobacco or cigarettes.
Dr. Gundo Weiler, a representative of the WHO, said that there is no judgment yet as to the “exact nature” and effect of the battery-operated devices.
“But we don’t expect any positive effect of [these devices] decreasing smoking prevalence,” Weiler said in a press conference on Monday.
“There’s still a debate going on on the scientific level about the effects of e-cigarettes but there is certainly concern they are not at all the solution to alternative smoking,” he said during the “Smoke-Free Schools” campaign at Rizal High School in Pasig City.
At the same campaign is Janette P. Loreto-Garin, secretary of Department of Health, who said that the national government should consider if these devices are within the coverage of the sin tax law since they are being aggressively sold and thereby circumventing tobacco control policies.
“E-cigarettes can be given a classification under the sin tax law. The president can certify it as urgent and, once certified, it can be an amendment to the sin tax law, especially so if its effects on health is the same [as cigarettes],” Garin said.