MANILA, Philippines—The Philippine Medical Association (PMA) has called on government regulators to put a temporarily halt to the sale of electronic cigarettes to the public pending a proper study and testing of their safety.
Dr. Ramon Severino of the Philippine Pediatric Society, a PMA specialty, said he believed a formal study of e-cigarettes as an “alternative lifestyle” and its short- and long-term effects must be conducted since there was still no proof they were safe to use.
Severino pointed out the sale of e-cigarettes to the public was allowed without the benefit of a thorough study.
The sale of e-cigarettes is unregulated, making it easy for the youth and even children to buy them, he said.
“We do not know if it can be bad for us, and if they are saying that this is an alternative lifestyle the question is whether it is right for us to teach a new kind of vice to the public, moreover to our children and the youth,” Severino said.
For its part, the Philippine E-Cigarette Association said it was looking at ways to regulate the sale of e-cigarettes to adults only, its target market.
Two months ago, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning to the public about e-cigarettes, saying it could not be considered legitimate therapy for smokers who want to quit and that it could turn children into smokers.
The FDA also stressed that the use of e-cigarettes was contrary to the intent and provisions of the Tobacco Regulation Act of 2003, which is aimed at protecting the youth from nicotine addiction and chronic respiratory diseases.—Jocelyn R. Uy