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City needs ordinance to seize vape products

The head of the city’s Vices Regulatory Unit (VRU) said the existing city ordinance prohibits the use of electronic cigarette (e-cigarette or vape) in public places.

However, VRU head Ashley Lopez said there is still no ordinance that mandates the confiscation of e-cigarette devices and the closure of stores selling vape products.

“We still cannot confiscate these vapes in the absence of a local ordinance,”he said.

Lopez said that “the use of vape, especially in public (places), is really prohibited” under city’s Comprehensive Anti-Smoking Ordinance.

Supporting the call of President Rodrigo Duterte to ban the use of vape, Lopez stressed that “the use of vape is never safe.”

Duterte made the announcement after the Department of Health (DOH) confirmed the first case of E-Cigarette or Vape-Associated Lung Injury (EVALI) case.

According to the case report, the patient is a 16-year old girl in Visayas who had been using e-cigarettes for six months while concurrently consuming combustible cigarettes, referred to as “dual use.”

Lopez explained the damage vapes can instill to the body, especially in the respiratory system.

“The process of vaping is that you have to heat up the e-cigarette to about 70 to 80 centigrade. That would create the vapor. These vapors are what will be inhaled. When it enters our body, which has lesser temperature compared to the heating, and it goes down to our respiratory track then these vapors will solidify and would stick anywhere in the lungs. In that case the throat will be irritated and some linings in the respiratory track will be damaged,” he explained.

He said that there are already incidents of lipoid pneumonia that can cause the untimely death of the vape users.

He also stressed that vapes can never be an alternative solution to cigarettes, as the effects of vapes are comparable to cigarettes.

“The city government already allocated a budget to purchase Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NTR) products to help those heavy smokers who wanted to quit smoking,” he said.

He strongly urge the public to refrain the use of vapes for it may impose great health risk especially to the lungs.

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