‘Vapedemic’ to worsen without strong tobacco control measures

14 February 2024

By Gabriela Baron, Daily Tribune

The vape epidemic or “vapedemic” is seen to worsen without strong tobacco measures, according to Child Rights Network.

This, is as the Philippines received its fifth “Dirty Ashtray” Award for its “brazen use of tobacco industry tactics to dispute and delay throughout COP10.”

In a statement dated 13 February, CRN expressed its disappointment in the Philippine delegation “for prioritizing tobacco industry interests over the welfare of our children.”

It said that the recently concluded 10th session of the Conference of Parties to the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control in Panama “marks a critical juncture for nations, amid intensified campaigns by the tobacco industry to co-opt the definition of ‘harm reduction’ to make their new electronic nicotine products more appealing and acceptable.”

“Let’s be clear: Real harm reduction does not involve introducing new and addictive products into the open market for both smokers and non-smokers alike, nor does it involve targeting children through youthful marketing to lure them into nicotine dependency,” CRN said.

“The youth ‘vapedemic’ in the Philippines will continue to worsen if we do not strengthen tobacco control measures now and reverse the pro-tobacco industry influence in our legislation and national policies,” it added.

It also lamented the “pro-tobacco industry” Vape Law, which they said “making vapes or e-cigarettes more accessible to children.”

“Cheap disposable vapes are being sold online and in the streets, even near schools. That’s what happens when authorities improve the image of vaping and give the industry ammunition,” CRN added.

Citing the latest Global Youth Tobacco Survey, CRN said one in seven Filipino kids aged 13 to 15 are already vulnerable to nicotine addiction through vapes and e-cigarettes.

 

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