MANILA, Philippines—It would seem that electronic cigarettes, which is being promoted as a healthier substitute for tobacco, may just be as harmful as the real thing.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Friday warned the public against e-cigarettes, saying they cannot be considered legitimate therapy for smokers to quit and that they could turn children into smokers.
E-cigarettes have been gaining favor among Filipinos as higher tobacco taxes make smoking more expensive.
The FDA stressed that the use of e-cigarettes was contrary to the intent and provisions of the Tobacco Regulation Act of 2003, or Republic Act No. 9211, aimed at protecting the youth from nicotine addiction and chronic respiratory diseases, including cancer, among the deadly effects of smoking.
“It is opposed to the DOH health goal to stop cigarette smoking and tobacco use,” said FDA acting director Dr. Kenneth Hartigan-Go in an advisory released on Friday.
“Wittingly or unwittingly, the electronic cigarette promotes smoking among children and the youth. It makes them less fearful of the hazards and risks of smoking,” Go said.
Contrary to what some marketers of e-cigarettes convey in their advertisements the World Health Organization does not consider e-cigarettes legitimate therapy to help smokers kick the habit, he said.
“The public is advised not to smoke at all and not to use cigarettes, cigars or e-cigarettes,” said Go.