Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said he is supporting the decision of President Rodrigo Duterte to ban vaping or e-cigarettes.
“I fully support the President’s decision to ban this but again I think it would be prudent to wait until the EO (Executive Order) is actually issued and let’s look at the content of the EO,” Duque told ABS-CBN News.
Duterte previously announced that he will ban vaping products and importation of these devices.
“It is an enforcement issue so whoever violates will have to be dealt with in accordance with a set of punitive or corrective measures that hopefully would be included in the executive order,” Duque explained.
There are about 2,000 cases of e-cigarette- and vaping-related illnesses in the United States.
“We don’t have to wait until what has been happening in the US happens here,” Duque said.
The first case of a possible vaping-related illness has been recorded in Cebu. Duque said confirmatory tests were still being done as of press time.
“So, it’s not definitive but we are following up and have instructed the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine to get in touch with the hospital as well as the patient to pursue the case and see,” Duque added.
Duque said people should take the warnings on vaping seriously.
“As secretary of health, I feel this is my duty as well to remind the public that they should not put at risk the health of people, so I admonish smokers or those who continue to vape to really think about it and the best recourse is to quit it altogether,” Duque said.