The Department of Health issued a public service advisory on social media about the harmful effects of electronic cigarettes or vaping on Friday, March 2.
The post, however, drew mixed reactions among users despite the scientific facts mentioned there.
DOH released this PSA through its communication campaign called Healthy Pilipinas.
“Vape is harmful, not pa-cool! Iwasan o ihinto ang paggamit ng vape. Wala itong magandang maidudulot sa iyo,” the agency said.
DOH then explained the harmful effects of the chemicals of vape products to its users, especially to the youth.
“May chemicals ang vape, gaya ng nicotine na nakaka-addict at nagiging dahilan ng cancer. Lubos na mapanganib, lalo na sa kabataan, dahil habang nagva-vape mas nasasanay ang utak at katawan mo sa pagkakaroon ng nikotina, at mas mahihirapang huminto dito,” the agency said.
The post also got more shares than reactions and comments.
So far, it has 830 reactions; 1,200 comments and 6,500 shares.
In the comments section, some Filipinos disagreed with DOH on the harmful effects of vaping.
They shared that they were long-time users of e-cigarettes.
“10 years na ko nagve-vape. Ok naman. It also helps me to stop smoking 9-10 years ago. Then now totally no smoking,” one user said.
“Smoker ako for 11 years before ako mag quit nung 2017 because of vape,” another user wrote.
One Facebook user, on the other hand, suggested that DOH should regulate the sale of tobacco products, particularly among children, instead.
“Tingin ko dapat mas ipromote ng DOH yung pag-quit sa cigarette smoking and pag-regulate ng selling nito. Mas accessible sa minors ang sigarilyo kaya mas dumadami yung mga batang naninigarilyo,” the online user said.
The chemicals harmful in vaping
Current research on e-cigarettes suggests that they are less harmful than regular tobacco, according to The John Hopkins University.
However, this does not mean they are safer and healthier because of their nicotine content.
“E-cigarettes heat nicotine (extracted from tobacco), flavorings and other chemicals to create an aerosol that you inhale. Regular tobacco cigarettes contain 7,000 chemicals, many of which are toxic,” the article said.
The article also pointed out that nicotine is a toxic substance.
“It causes you to crave a smoke and suffer withdrawal symptoms if you ignore the craving. Nicotine is a toxic substance. It raises your blood pressure and spikes your adrenaline, which increases your heart rate and the likelihood of having a heart attack,” it said.
There are also many chemicals and ingredients in vapors that are not yet identified by researchers.
Moreover, there is also data that suggest links long-term vaping to chronic lung disease and asthma.
“Emerging data suggest links to chronic lung disease and asthma, as well as associations between dual use of e-cigarettes and smoking with cardiovascular disease. You’re exposing yourself to all kinds of chemicals that we don’t yet understand and that are probably not safe,” a doctor named Michael Blaha was quoted as saying.
The World Health Organization also warned about the risks of severe complications for COVID-19 infections among e-cigarette users.
“Existing evidence indicates that electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) and electronic non-nicotine delivery systems (ENNDS), more commonly referred to as e-cigarettes, are harmful and increase the risk of heart disease and lung disorders,” the organization said.