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PHA to national government: Put an end to vaping

Members of the Philippine Heart Association (PHA) are calling on the national government to put an end to vaping, which has led to a spike in cardiac arrests among the youth.

PHA President Ronaldo Cuyco, during the PHA’s midyear convention held at the SMX Convention Center in Clark, reiterated the call of the medical community to lawmakers who are working on the Vape Bill to “junk vaping”.

Cuyco said the Vape Bill is “anti-health and regressive”.

Senate Bill (SB) No. 2239, or An Act “Regulating the Importation, Manufacture, Sale, Packaging, Distribution, Use, And Communication of Vapor Products and Heated Tobacco Products” was being “fast-tracked” amid the pandemic, while its counterpart House Bill No. 9007 was passed without the recommendation of the health sector, the group lamented.

Earlier PCP President Dr. Maricar Limpin voiced out a stern opposition to easing restrictions on vape flavors, allowing vaping in schools, hospitals, public places; the absence of a ban on sale to non-smokers; and lowering the age limit from 21 to 18 years on who may be allowed to purchase and use these products.

Cuyco said vaping, which is bad for the lungs, increases cardiac risks by 34 percent. It also damages the heart and the brain.

Dr. Rodney Jimenez, PHA vice president, recounted that two of his patients — 23 and 25 years of age — underwent bypass surgery recently, with smoking as a common denomimator.

Based on records, vaping is not a good alternative to smoking.

“E-cigarette users are more susceptible to major health problems – 34% are likely to have a heart attack; 25% are likely to have coronary artery disease; 30% are likely to have stroke; and 55% are likely to suffer from depression and anxiety.”  

Studies have it, PHA said, that nicotine in cigarettes and e-cigarettes results in cholesterol build-up in the arteries that leads to atherosclerosis. They also contain toxic chemicals that elevates blood pressure, and spikes adrenaline that may result in a heart attack.