Lawmakers have filed a measure regulating the sale and use of the Electronic Nicotine Delivery System (Ends) more popularly known as e-cigarette.
Magdalo representatives Francisco Ashley L. Acedillo and Gary C. Alejano said under HB 5590, Congress should pass a law regulating the use of e-cigarette while research and studies are still be conducted on the controversial smoking device.
Acedillo said the e-cigarettes have been promoted as a safer alternative to traditional cigarettes and aid an individual to quit smoking.
However, a study carried out by researchers from John Hopkins University in Maryland, the University of Tennessee Health Science Center and Louisiana State University shows that e-cigarette exposure is not a safe alternative to cigarette smoking.
The study said the exposure causes airway inflammation, oxidative stress, and impaired anti-bacterial and anti-viral responses that include increased bacterial burden and viral titers in the lungs, impaired bacterial phagocytosis [removal of bacteria by immune cells], and increased virus-induced morbidity and mortality.
“Without formal studies on its real health effects on the user, a need for government to regulate its sale and promotion arise,” Acedillo said.
Acedillo said the passage of RA 9211 or the Tobacco Regulation Act serves as a benchmark in implementing a stricter tobacco control initiative in the country. “The stricter implementation on tobacco control plus the imposition of higher taxes in tobacco products paved the way for electronic cigarettes to gain popularity especially among the youth,” he said.
E-cigarettes are devices commonly made of plastic or metal that heats a liquid nicotine solution in a disposable cartridge while creating a tiny light on the tip that glows like a real cigarette and produces a vapour that stimulates the act of smoking.
All e-cigarettes have the same basic components — a battery, a heating element, and a cartridge that is usually filled with a combination of nicotine, flavoring, and a liquid such as glycerin or propylene glycol.
Acedillo and Alejano proposed to amend Republic Act 9211 or the Tobacco Regulation Act of 2003, particularly Section 2, Sec. 4 (s), Sec. 7, Sec. 10, 11, 12, 13, 14 (a), 15 (d), Section 22 and 23, of R.A. 9211 by including the phrase “and other nicotine-containing” products.
The bill also amends Section 3 by including the phrase “roll-your own” tobacco, and novel tobacco products and empowering the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to regulate the manufacture, importation, distribution, promotion and use of Ends.