Philippines: Government backs ban on e-cigarettes

19 December 2016:

MANILA, Philippines – Arguing that its potential health risks remain undetermined, the Department of Health (DOH) and the Civil Service Commission (CSC) yesterday defended the policy to regulate the sale and use of e-cigarettes in the country.

In a joint statement, Health Secretary Paulyn Ubial and CSC chair Alicia Bala said the Philippine delegation to the World Health Organization’s conference of parties for the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) is supporting the calls to consider regulatory measures and ban on the sale and use of e-cigarettes.

While some groups claim that the Electronic Nicotine Delivery System is less harmful than tobacco products, Ubial said the DOH believes that such products must be regulated as she noted that the World Health Organization already declared that the potential health risks associated with ENDS to both users and the public remain undetermined.

“Until such time ENDS is deemed safe, effective and acceptable by a competent national regulatory body, consumers should be strongly advised not to use ENDS,” Ubial quoted a WHO report. 

Anti-tobacco advocates are also worried over the delay in the signing of an executive order for the implementation of a nationwide smoking ban.