Consumer groups criticized local anti-tobacco advocates for rehashing findings by the World Health Organization, claiming they are flawed and old.
WHO is seeking to ban indoor use of electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes or “vapes”) based on rehashed flawed information. Health Secretary Paulyn Ubial said the Department of Health was open to adopting the WHO’s recommendation.
“Local anti-tobacco groups should realize that the WHO is not infallible and repeating wrong information on e-cigarettes will not make it correct,” said Tom Pinlac, president of The Vapers Philippines.
“The WHO, which believes that the only way to reduce smoking is for smokers to ‘quit or die,’ should open its eyes to the evidence and consider the potential for new technologies, such as e-cigarettes, to reduce smoking-related harms.”
“Local health experts and anti-tobacco advocates should look beyond the WHO and consider the findings of independent studies on e-cigarettes. There is strong evidence that e-cigarettes can serve as a safer alternative to tobacco. Let us provide smokers who are trying to quit with accurate information on e-cigarettes,” said Joey Dulay, president of the Philippine E-Cigarette Industry Association.
The WHO’s recommendation to ban indoor use of e-cigarettes is based on its report on Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems that the agency released in August 2016. The report claims, among others, that metals exposures among e-cigarette users are higher than in second-hand smoke and could be harmful to bystanders.
The WHO report was analyzed and criticized by the UK Centre for Tobacco and Alcohol Studies, which includes as authors John Britton (head of the Royal College of Physicians Tobacco Advisory Group), Ilze Bogdanovich (Cancer Research UK), Ann McNeil (Professor of Tobacco Addiction at King’s College London and Trustee of the Society for the Study of Addiction and Healthier Futures), and Linda Bauld (Professor of Health Policy at the University of Stirling).