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[COLUMN] Youth Speaks

Students in shambles due to vaping ban

Source: Shutterstock

President Rodrigo Duterte had recently announced a vaping ban throughout the country to alleviate the growing users of vape and e-cigarettes.

Recently, the Philippine National Police arrested 243 people in public places to comply with the president’s issuance of the ban, taking 2,878 operations for these people to be apprehended.

The ban, pursuant to Philippine Clean Air Act of 1999 and Tobacco Regulation Act of 2003, followed Duterte’s executive law order to arrest individuals vaping in public following the first reported case of vaping illness in the Philippines. 

However, many believe that the issuance of this order was only made due to the government’s selfish reasons of having no profit nor gain from the e-cigarettes circling around the country, being that there is no tax implicated in the selling of these products.

While the Department of Health fully supports the ban, many are expressing their concerns that the vape ban is doing more harm than good, as most vapers use the product as an alternative to cigarettes. With the ban in progress, these vapers have no choice but to revert to actual cigarettes.

“As a student, managing a part time job, studying for my academics while consequently doing efforts for my organization is enough work in itself, I started vaping about four months ago when I decided to quit cigarettes.’ Ven, a fourth year management student from Ateneo says. ‘The vaping ban implemented by Duterte has caused me to relapse back to cigarettes, which has more negative effects than vape. As much as I want to stop all in all, it’s hard to balance everything without having an outlet to let out to.”

While others still less likely follows the ban, “I still vape, I think for me, it’s more of not getting caught when I vape.’ Fran, an Atenean junior studying humanities, says. ‘Not that I want to disobey the president, but I think for me, it’s such a pointless ban to implement. Because they [the government] gain no income from it.”

Various people have also raised their concerns regarding the issuance of the ban and everyone has voiced out their sides on the matter, especially students. As they are the ones most targeted by this ban, being that students have chosen to vape as an alternative in coping with stress, either academic or personal reasons. I personally side with the students in calling out the vape ban to be absurd being that there is no actual law that states vaping, in itself, to be not allowed in the country.

Furthermore, the order just shows how the governments redirection of focus shifts, while it does claim the main reason is due to unstudied chemicals that may harm the body, I believe it goes the same way for cigarettes and how both outlets still causes harm.

Whether or not one is vaping or smoking cigarettes, the risk and harm still stands. It is up to the own person’s discretion to make a choice for himself and while Duterte’s order still pushes through, I ask for transparency with its issuance.

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