Lawmaker wants disposable vapes banned

Lawmaker wants disposable vapes banned
File photo

A LAWMAKER is pushing for the banning of electronic cigarettes, commonly known as vape, including disposable ones, saying it causes harm to public health, particularly among the youth.

Senator Pilar Juliana "Pia" Cayetano said she supports the proposal to outlaw the selling of disposable vapes, adding that it does not only have detrimental effects on individual health but also on the environment.

"Panawagan ko talaga sa mga (my call to the) young people listening. Do not buy the argument [that] it is safer for you or healthier," she said when she visited Cebu City last March 7, 2024, for the Women's Month celebration.

Disposable vapes, precharged and pre-filled with e-liquid, eliminate the need for recharging or refilling until fully consumed. On average, marketers claim they last up to 9,000 puffs. reports that a regular cigarette typically lasts for around 10 to 12 puffs. Therefore, a disposable vape with 9,000 puffs can roughly equate to smoking approximately 750 to 900 cigarettes.

The senator also expressed worries about the environmental repercussions of disposable vapes, likening their effect to that of single-use plastic bags.

She highlighted that once used, disposable vapes contribute to environmental pollution, urging young people to advocate for environmental preservation.

"The young people already know. The young people on their own are doing their part in not contributing to the garbage, so that is also another harmful effect of disposable vapes, aside from the ill health effects," she said.

In a SunStar Cebu report last year, Cebu-based medical experts challenged the belief that vaping is much safer than smoking regular tobacco, countering the popular belief that vape pods contain fewer harmful substances than their counterparts.

Eugenia Mercedes Cañal of the Department of Health's Regional Epidemiological Surveillance Unit in Central Visayas said the first recorded case of Evali or e-cigarette or vaping use-associated lung injury was in Visayas in 2019.

A 16-year-old girl from Consolacion, Cebu, who used electronic and traditional cigarettes for over six months, suffered severe shortness of breath and needed oxygen supplementation.

Cañal emphasized that many individuals believe e-cigarettes are safer than traditional tobacco smoking. However, she pointed out that e-cigarettes are equally harmful due to the foreign chemicals added to the liquid used inside the pods.

Earlier this month, the government is actively considering a ban on disposable vapes in the country due to concerns about unregulated sales, tax evasion, and significant health risks, particularly among the youth, as said earlier by Finance Secretary Ralph G. Recto.

Recto emphasized the need for strict monitoring of retailers, especially online stores, selling unregistered disposable vape products, and the imposition of penalties on violators as per Republic Act 11900, also known as the Vaporized Nicotine and Non-Nicotine Products Regulation Act.

Recto pointed out that a majority of disposable vapes sold in the market lack registration with the Department of Trade and Industry and fail to comply with the tax requirements set by the Bureau of Internal Revenue. (KJF)


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