The provincial government of Bataan is well on its way of implementing its anti-smoking and vaping ordinance despite some headwinds and challenges following the so-called tobacco harm reduction strategies to protect the global tobacco industry.
Says the banner headline of a major broadsheet: “PH Pushed To Reject Vape, e-Cigarettes In Int’l Meet” which refers to an international coalition of non-governement organization, the Global Alliance on Tobacco Control (GATC), a leading civil society advocate for the World Health Organization’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO-FCTC) meet in Panama.
According to 2019 Global Youth Tobacco Survey (GYTS), 14 percent or 1 in every Filipino youth ages 13 to 15 was already using e-cigarettes translating to almost a million young users in the country.
Health authorities are worried about the sharp increase– from 11.7 percent to 24.5 percent of adolescents who are now using vape products even if they never smoked or used vape before.
Former senior health officials and education departments appealed to the Philippine delegation to the 10th session of the Conference of Parties (COP10) of the WHO-FCTC in Panama recently to affirm our commitments under the FCTC and to take the lead in pushing for and promoting policies preventing the uptake of all recreational and nicotine products.
In 2016, the Balanga City Council passed an ordinance regulating the sale of tobacco products to all its citizens born on or after January 1, 2000 to protect the health of its citizens. Almost all municipalities in Bataan adopted the same ordinance on anti-smoking and vaping with penal provisions.