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Philippines: Group blasts doctors favoring vape measure

23 July 2022

By Red Mendoza, The Manila Times

A GROUP that opposes the passage of the Vaporized Nicotine and Non-Nicotine Products Regulation Bill or the Vape Bill has slammed doctors who are said to support the measure, calling them as false.

In recent media releases, some doctors have urged President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. to sign the bill, which they claim would lower smoking rates in the country.

In a statement, the Sin Tax Coalition said the publication of these reports is a “form of biased news reporting” that only gives the side of a few doctors.

“[It] failed to acknowledge that 59 medical societies and health professional organizations, including the Philippine Medical Association (PMA), the country’s largest medical society consisting of 80,000 doctors, strongly oppose the Vape Bill and called for its veto,” the group added.

The coalition said the Department of HealthDepartment of Education and over 60 civil society groups have called on the President to veto the proposal.

“Replacing one addiction with another is neither safe nor healthy. We reiterate our argument that just because they (vapes) are less harmful does not mean they are safe,” the group said.

According to the Sin Tax Coalition, the concept of “harm reduction” is misleading, as non-smokers who use vapes will have a twofold increase in future tobacco use, a fourfold increase in excessive alcohol intake, and a fivefold increase in marijuana use.