The head of the Philippine Department of Education (deped) said in a statement that he supported stricter measures on electronic nicotine delivery systems (ends) and electronic non nicotine delivery systems (ennds).
"Education alone is not enough on issues related to preventive drug use. In their classroom, we teach learners how to reject harmful substances. Beyond these courses, we need policies and structures to strengthen students' health promotion choices and to complement what we teach them in schools, "minister Leonor magtolis Briones wrote. According to the press release, the letter was released at a public hearing on the provisions of the "steam nicotine product management act.".
The Senate hearing discussed regulations on age limits, online trade, and product tastes. At present, e-cigarette products and heated tobacco products (HTP) have been regulated by the Republic Act 11467 (RA 11467) signed by President Rodrigo ROA duterte in January 2020. According to RA 11467, the sale of e-cigarette products and HTP to people under the age of 21 is prohibited. However, the bill to be passed by the Senate, similar to the house replacement bill, intends to reduce the minimum age limit to 18.
"That's what we deped really care about. Before the outbreak, the Pediatric Society of the Philippines (PPS) worked with us to explore the determinants of the use of e-cigarettes by [grade 7-9] students, and the results showed that 6.7% of [11500 students surveyed] had tried and were using e-cigarettes, "brionis said.
PPS survey results showed that the main reasons for deped learners to use e-cigarettes were convenient access to the Internet (32%), different tastes (22%) and that e-cigarettes were safer than tobacco (17%).
"Especially now that we are in the midst of a pandemic, I call on our legislators to deal with this issue from a health perspective. We have all witnessed firsthand how any threat or attack to a country's health system will ultimately affect all other areas of public life, from the economy to education, "brionis said in a statement.