Calls for Health Minister to Strictly Enforce Regulations on E-cigs in the Philippines

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Health advocates in the Philippines urge Health Minister Teodoro Herbosa to strictly enforce regulations on e-cigarettes.

According to a report by The Philippine Star on December 20th, anti-smoking advocates in the Philippines are urging Health Secretary Teodoro Herbosa to enforce regulations on e-cigarettes more strictly.

In a joint statement, HealthJustice Philippines, Parents Against Vape (PAV), Action for Economic Reforms (AER), and Philippine Legislator’s Committee on Population and Development (PLCPD) express confidence in Health Secretary Francisco Duque III’s continued support for strong tobacco control efforts, including increasing funding for tobacco prevention and enhancing regulation of e-cigarette use.

The PAV is particularly calling for the implementation of a program aimed at curbing the use of e-cigarettes within the Philippines. The organization cites a survey from the 2019 Global Youth Tobacco Survey (GYTS), which reveals that out of seven Filipino students aged 13 to 15, one admits to currently using e-cigarettes.

Child Rights Network (CRN) and PAV are urging the Department of Education and the Higher Education Commission to take immediate action in protecting children’s right to health and ensuring an environment free from tobacco and nicotine pollution. Advocacy groups propose that the education bureau and higher education commission should issue guidelines to ensure that the sale of e-cigarettes and e-liquids does not take place within a 200-meter radius of schools.

The AER expressed utmost trust in Minister Herbosa’s leadership in a statement, stating that he will address urgent issues in the Ministry of Health, including the tobacco epidemic in the Philippines, to ensure the nation’s well-being. They highlighted Minister Herbosa’s strong support for six tax measures on tobacco products during his tenure as Deputy Minister of the Department of Health under President Benigno Aquino III.

In accordance with the recollection of the campaign to increase tobacco taxes in 2012, Hernandez previously stated that the new tax legislation would result in an increase in tobacco prices, ultimately deterring young individuals from smoking and reducing tobacco consumption among older smokers. Subsequently, the 10351 Bill was passed the following year.

Health Justice” signifies their hope that Health Secretary Herbosa will prioritize the health and well-being of the Filipino people, especially children. “Health Justice” promises to support and collaborate with the Department of Health in implementing universal healthcare law.

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