The Coalition of Asia Pacific Tobacco Harm Reduction Advocates has written to Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte asking him to urgently sign the Vaporized Nicotine Products Regulation Act into law.
Both the Philippine Senate and House of Representatives have ratified the harmonized version of the act which will regulate the use, manufacture, importation, sale, distribution and promotion of vaping and heated tobacco products. It now awaits the president’s signature or veto.
“The weight of the scientific evidence shows that potentially thousands of Filipino lives can be saved by making this act the law of the land,” wrote CAPHRA, backed by its expert advisory group and member organizations throughout the Asia Pacific region.
CAPHRA is adamant that when enacted the legislation will provide 16 million Filipino smokers with the world’s most effective smoking cessation tool, saving the lives and enhancing the health of millions of Filipino smokers and their families, friends, and co-workers.
“Hundreds of peer-reviewed international scientific studies have found innovative smoke-free products such as e-cigarettes and heated tobacco products to be far less harmful than combustible tobacco and offer the best options to make smokers switch or quit. The act will ensure the regulation of these products, so that they meet government standards to protect consumers and will contribute revenue, via taxation,” wrote Nancy Loucas, Executive Coordinator of CAPHRA.
The letter said signing the act into law and giving Filipino smokers the option of choosing less harmful alternative nicotine products will create an enduring presidential legacy. It will prove to the world that Mr Duterte is a leader who put the health and well-being of his people, based on science, above the special interests of foreigners.
The Asia Pacific advocacy group explained that the use of non-combustible nicotine products is at the core of Tobacco Harm Reduction (THR) – a public health strategy designed to address the smoking problem by making available less harmful alternatives that do not produce smoke – the main source of toxic chemicals that cause cancer and chronic pulmonary heart diseases.
With Public Health England concluding that vaping is at least 95% less harmful than combustible cigarettes, “we believe that the use of less harmful alternatives to traditional cigarettes will save about 100,000 Filipinos who die every year from smoking-related diseases,” CAPHRA wrote.
The letter noted that once signed into law, the Philippines will join 67 countries around the world that have regulatory frameworks on vaping. Further, those countries that have legalized vaping and the use of other smoke-free products such as heated tobacco have since registered a dramatic decline in smoking prevalence.
Enclosing an extensive bibliography of scientific information, CAPHRA concluded by respectfully asking the President to urgently sign the Vaporized Nicotine Products Regulation Act into law.
Last year, CAPHRA member organization Vapers PH commissioned ACORN Marketing & Research Consultants to conduct ‘A Survey of Attitudes Among Adult Tobacco & Nicotine Users in the Philippines’. A staggering 94% of respondents agreed that the Philippine Government should enact policies to encourage adult smokers to switch to less harmful alternatives to cigarettes.
A global collaboration of THR consumer groups, sCOPe has launched a comprehensive library of online panel discussions and presentations. In November 2021, sCOPe broadcast around the clock during COP9 – the 9th Conference of Parties for the World Health Organization’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC). To access sCOPe’s online library visit https://bit.ly/319zzkx
Boasting over 14,000 testimonials, CAPHRA is calling on those who’ve quit cigarettes through smoke-free nicotine alternatives to tell their story on www.righttovape.org
For a free digital media repository on tobacco harm reduction in Asia Pacific – including media releases, images and graphics – please visit https://apthrmedia.org