DOH cautions public vs. use of e-cigarettes, vapes

MANILA — The Department of Health DOH urged the public on Saturday to be vigilant when buying consumer products sold online like e-cigarettes and vaping devices.

This, after a vaping device exploded while being used by a 17-year old male on Oct. 30.

In a statement, DOH said the patient suffered from injuries to the lips, oral mucosa, palate and tongue as per report of doctors from the East Avenue Medical Center doctors. He also had burns and hematoma in the upper and lower eyelids.

E-cigarettes are battery-operated devices that heat e-liquids to produce aerosols that users inhale, mimicking the act of smoking.

Meanwhile, vaping devices or vapes are used to vaporize cannabis, tobacco and other herb blends for inhalation. They are battery-operated as well.

According to DOH, vaping devices can cause severe burns and injuries that may require intensive or prolonged medical treatment.

DOH said the patient’s mother reported that he swapped the batteries of his vape through an acquaintance in social media, who already deactivated after the incident.

In connection to this, DOH cautioned parents and guardians to discourage minors from using e-cigarettes and vapes and from accessing them through social media.

“These devices are not toys and they contain concomitant health and safety hazards which may lure teenagers to pick up the habit of smoking,” DOH said.

DOH said it will continue to investigate about the safety and health issues of these devices and their online selling with the help of the Food and Drug Administration and the Department of Trade and Industry.

“FDA regulates e-cigarettes as medical products because of its nicotine content and no device or e-liquids have been registered nor evaluated by the agency for safety, efficacy and quality,” DOH added.

DOH encouraged medical practitioners, hospital facilities and the public to report injuries and accidents related to use of e-cigarettes and vapes to its online national electronic injury surveillance system by calling the DOH hotline 711-1001 to 02. (PR)