A BAN on smoking electronic cigarettes is being pushed by Baguio health authorities.

The Baguio City Health Services Office has endorsed to the city council amendments to the anti-smoking ordinance that include banning the lighting up of electronic cigarettes in indoor public areas.

City Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit Coordinator Donnabel Tubera said the e-cigarette has the same effects as that of a tobacco cigarette.

"People believe that e-cigarette can be an alternative to the traditional cigarette especially when they are trying to quit smoking. But e-cigarette has the same effect as that of a regular cigarette," Tubera said.

She said the best way to quit smoking is not by shifting from a traditional cigarette to an e-cigarette but to stop smoking altogether.

A former smoker who has been smoke-free for 10 years reduces his chances of developing respiratory illnesses related to nicotine by half, Tubera said.

She also proposed a total ban on cigarette advertisements which she said has been proven to encourage smoking especially among minors.

A proposed comprehensive anti-smoking ordinance that repeals the existing ordinance is under deliberation at the Committee on Health and Sanitation, Ecology and Environmental Protection.