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The ‘smoking’ problem of vape and e-cigarette among today’s youth

by Kiko Cueto

YOU see it everywhere. 

Vapes, e-cigarettes. Many have their reasons for doing so, others, to quit actual things, others for the environment, and others say its a better option.

But the problem with this, is that these “alternates” are being used by today’s youth as well.

DepEd to curb vape, e-cigarettes 

This is one problem that the Department of Education is seriously trying to battle.

DepEd Assistant Secretary Dexter Galban was quoted by ABS-CBN as saying that they had even collaborated with agencies such as the Departments of Health (DOH), Trade and Industry (DTI), and Interior and Local Government (DILG).

They want a stronger implementation of regulations on vape use and called for a wider awareness campaign of the harms of vaping.

“Actually, it’s not even silent anymore. It’s becoming very pronounced because you now see it in movies, you now see it in television. It’s becoming part of the normal,” he was quoted as saying.

“We really have to work with these agencies to implement these interventions outside the confines of DepEd facilities,” he added.

According to the same interview, Galban said that they are teaching those students from Kinder to Grade 12 are now being taught on age-appropriate prevention as well as cessation of vaping and all forms of vices.

It is a part of their public awareness campaigns with the help of student governments so as they can set a good example.

Galban also said that the agency is hoping that the youth will realize the effects of vaping and smoking, which are equally bad for their health.

He added that while the government campaign against smoking has been very effective, the younger Filipinos had shunned tobacco in cigarettes.

“But if you ask them a follow-up question, ‘Pero nagva-vape ka ba?’ ‘Oo.’ The industry has been able to successfully fragment similar products as categories of their own. When, in fact, they both can cause substantial harm to our learners,” Galban lamented.

Role of parents

Presently, vapes are being sold in different flavors and designs, as well as in bright packaging, which makes it attractive to the youth.

This, according to Galban, is where the parents come in to tell their children of the bad effects of e-cigarette among the young.

Under Republic Act No. 11900 or the Vaporized Nicotine and Non-Nicotine Products Regulation Act it actually prohibits the sale, promotion, advertising, and product demonstration of vapes and novel tobacco products like e-cigarettes, and heated tobacco products (HTPs).

This law is “within 100 meters from any point of the perimeter of a school, playground or other facility frequented particularly by minors”.

ABS-CBN also interviewed Dr. Maricar Limpin, a pulmonologist and Smoking Cessation Program director at the Philippine Heart Center, where she expressed with many patients having e-cigarette or vape-associated lung injury (EVALI), in particular with the youth.

The DOH has a quitline 1558 where smokers and vapers who are looking yo quit the habit may reach them for help.



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