DOH plans to ban e-cigarettes in smoke-free areas

MANILA — The Department of Health (DOH) on Monday is interested in heeding the advisory of the World Health Organization (WHO) to ban electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) in all designated indoor smoke-free areas.

DOH Secretary Paulyn Ubial said that the health department would look into the recommendations of the WHO in regulating vaping.

“We will be promoting that (advisory),” Ubial said.

She added that the directive might be included in the forthcoming advisory of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

“(It will be) thru an FDA advisory since the science against e-cigarettes is not as firm as smoking tobacco,” said Ubial.

Last month, the Health Chief said FDA was already studying the possibility of coming out with an order for the use of e-cigs and vapes.

Over the weekend, the WHO urged all its member-states to consider banning electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) in all designated indoor smoke-free areas.

“We believe that, from a public health perspective, central and local governments should adopt regulations that effectively determine that all designated indoor smoke-free areas are also vape-free areas,” said the WHO.

WHO also said that permitting indoor vaping might “renormalize” tobacco smoking in smoke-free indoor environments.

“It may lead smokers to query: if vaping is permitted, why is smoking not allowed?” said the WHO.

Aside from that, it pointed that allowing vaping indoors may trigger the public’s desire to smoke tobacco cigarettes and e-cigarettes.

“Close exposure to vaping among people, who have recently quit smoking or vaping, might trigger them to relapse to smoking,” said the WHO.

It further said second-hand aerosols from e-cigarettes are considered as a new air contamination source for hazardous particulate matter (PM).

“Passive exposure to e-cigarette vapor might lead to adverse health effects according to a systematic review of 16 studies,” said the WHO. Leilani Junio/