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Philippine President Pressed to Perform

The Coalition of Asia Pacific Tobacco Harm Reduction Advocates are pressing the Philippine President to urgently sign pro-vaping act

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The Coalition of Asia Pacific Tobacco Harm Reduction Advocates (CAPHRA) has written to Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte asking him to urgently sign the Vaporised Nicotine Products Regulation Act into law. The Philippines stands on the cusp of taking a leading stance in the region on tobacco harm reduction.

CAPHRA is a regional alliance of consumer tobacco harm reduction advocacy organisations. Its mission is to educate, advocate and represent the right of adult alternative nicotine consumers to access and use of products that reduce harm from tobacco use.

Both the Philippine Senate and House of Representatives have ratified the harmonised 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 organisations throughout the Asia Pacific region.

CAPHRA told the President 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 legalised 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 Vaporised 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.


Dave Cross avatar

Dave Cross

Journalist at POTV
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Dave is a freelance writer; with articles on music, motorbikes, football, pop-science, vaping and tobacco harm reduction in Sounds, Melody Maker, UBG, AWoL, Bike, When Saturday Comes, Vape News Magazine, and syndicated across the Johnston Press group. He was published in an anthology of “Greatest Football Writing”, but still believes this was a mistake. Dave contributes sketches to comedy shows and used to co-host a radio sketch show. He’s worked with numerous vape companies to develop content for their websites.

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