CONSULTATIONS on the impact of electronic cigarettes now underway, May 26 at the Ayala, Centrio Mall. Another consultation is set on June 1 in Carmen village, Cagayan de Oro City.

The committee on health, sanitation, and health insurance initiates the public consultations to discuss the impact of e-cigarettes particularly on the youth.

City Councilor Ma. Lourdes Gaane, chairperson of the committee, said this is done to gather recommendations from the public for the possible regulation or a total ban of the e-cigarettes.

“We will study if we will ban it kay gihimo man gud ni siya ug (since it is used as) alternative to quit smoking,” Gaane said.

Gaane said this consultation comes on the heels of the issued executive order 26 imposing a nationwide smoking ban in all public places, among others.

“The big question is, ang (the) effect ani (of it) is the same ba sa (with) regular cigarettes, ang (the) studies ani gaingon nga mas grabe iyang (about it showed a worse) effect kay naa siyay (since it has) juice nga naay (with) chemical components aside from the nicotine... like the led, lithium kay (since its) battery-operated man ni siya, so hazardous to our health, as claimed by Department of Health and the Food and Drugs Administration,” Gaane said.

Gaane said smoking e-cigarettes is not included in the executive order so public consultations on its impact must be made.

She pointed out that Davao City already regulated e-cigarettes as early as 2012, citing its “New Comprehensive Anti-Smoking Ordinance (0367-12)” prohibits smoking any tobacco product or using electronic device system, shisha, and the like in all public transport, entertainment establishments, work places, enclosed and partially enclosed public places, public buildings and public outdoor spaces.

The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA), in an advisory, argued that the World Health Organization (WHO) does not consider e-cigarettes to be a legitimate therapy for smokers trying to quit.

The WHO has no scientific evidence to confirm the product's safety and efficacy, adding that its marketers should immediately remove from their web sites and other informational materials any suggestion that WHO considers it to be a safe and effective smoking cessation aid.

She said the FDA has not registered any electronic cigarette products and will not register them as health products and that e-cigarettes are contrary to the intent and provisions of Republic Act 9211 otherwise known as the Tobacco or the Regulation Act of 2003.

It warned that the electronic cigarette promotes smoking among the youth as it opposes the Department of Health's goal to stop cigarette smoking and tobacco use, she added.

Gaane said the city has two vape stores, one in Capistrano street, and another in Carmen village.