Health Secretary Francisco Duque III on Thursday advised the public that they should not be misled by a bill regulating vaporized nicotine and non-nicotine products, saying this was a "Trojan horse" in the policy to protect health.
Duque stressed there is growing evidence that vapes and e-cigarettes are "harmful and not risk-free," adding that they increase the risk of heart and respiratory diseases, and explosion injuries.
"Do not be misled by the Vape Regulation Bill. This bill is a Trojan horse to this administration's avowed policy to protect the health of the nation, especially our youth," Duque said in a webinar.
"It is contrary to public health goals, masquerading as a solution, to a decades-long problem of tobacco use," he added.
According to Duque, the measure is a retrogressive bill that undermines the country's progress in tobacco prevention and control.
"The bill will achieve the opposite of its intended purpose of strengthening tobacco industry regulation as it relaxes the restrictions on the minimum age of access, flavorings, regulation, distribution, advertising, promotion, sale, and use of these products," he said.
During the webinar, Dr. Riza Gonzales also stressed that chronic diseases take a long time to develop.
"Pangalawa, 'yung sigarilyo nga bago nalaman 'yung danger, hazards, and everything, it took them decades and decades before... Ang vape is just 18-years-old. It takes a lot of time for cancer and other chronic diseases to develop," she said.—AOL, GMA News