Manila, Philippines – Following President Rodrigo Duterte’s banning order against e-cigarettes on Tuesday, the Philippine National Police (PNP) is now active to crackdown its users.
The president announced its decision after acknowledging the harmful effects of e-cigarettes, a.k.a vape.
“I will ban it, the use and the importation. I hope everybody is listening. Paki-relay na lang,” Duterte said in a press conference on Tuesday night. “You know why? Because it is toxic. And the government has the power to issue measures to protect public health and public interest.”
“Ang cigarette, they confirm chemical there. That’s not good for humans. It’s deadly, it’s nicotine. It induces a habit, habit for me, and it is toxic, and it kills people… Now, itong vaping, sabi nila (they said vaping) is electronic. Don’t give me that s***,” he added.
He also mentioned about signing an executive order soon, to formalize his directive.
PNP officer-in-charge Lt. Gen. Archie Gamboa directed all police commanders across the region to increase police visibility in all public places to enforce the ban against e-cigarettes users.
He added, “that all violators will be arrested and properly recorded in the police blotters.” Items will also be confiscated and disposed. The PNP will also “coordinate with local government units and agencies, as well as vape stores and owners, to enhance the enforcement of the ban.”
Likewise, Gamboa warned all PNP personnel to “refrain from violating the directive or risk disciplinary sanctions.”
“All heads of offices and chiefs of police units in all levels are held accountable for the strict enforcement and compliance of their personnel with the ban,” he added, noting that all PNP camps and offices are a No Vape Zone.
Vape can also cause lung illness
Vaping became popular among Filipinos, assuming it as a healthier alternative for smokers who want to quit smoking. However, the Department of Health has clarified that vaping is not a proven nicotine replacement and can cause lung illness.
Last week, the agency confirmed the first reported case of Electronic Cigarettes or Vaping-associated Lun Injury (EVALI).
According to the DOH, the Philippines has around one million e-cigarette users.
Vaping at home
Nevertheless, Duterte stated on Wednesday how Filipinos can still use e-cigarettes and vaping devices but only in their home.
The president said during the 80th anniversary of the Department of National Defense the safest way for vape users to still do it is at home.
“But if you are not that stupid when you do that, you contaminate all including your children in the family,” he noted.
Along with his speech, he directed the Philippine Military to join in the crackdown.