The Health Department on Wednesday warned the public against the use of "vapes" and e-cigarettes, in observance of June as the national "No Smoking Month."
Health Secretary Paulyn Ubial said "vapes" and e-cigarettes contain 7,000 dangerous chemicals that are found in normal cigarettes.
"May advisory ang FDA na iyung components na nasa vapes is still tobacco. Ngayon, ang sinasabi nila, it is [a] safer alternative. Pero ang sinasabi namin sa health sector, walang safe level ng exposure to tobacco smoke. So maski konti lang yan, it is still unsafe," she said.
Ubial also advised the youth to stay in control and avoid tobacco products, as she reiterated a 2015 Global Youth Tobacco Survey that claimed there had been a 2-3% increase of tobacco users among students aged 13-15 years.
President Rodrigo Duterte on May 18 signed Executive Order No. 26 or "Providing for the Establishment of Smoke-free Environments in Enclosed and Public Places."
The EO prohibits smoking in public places like schools, workplaces, sidewalks, and even in jeepneys, buses, and tricycles.
Under the EO, minors are not allowed to smoke, buy, or sell tobacco products. Minors are also prohibited from lighting up or being ordered to distribute, deliver, advertise, or promote tobacco products.
Ubial said EO 26 will be in effect on July 16 but the Implementing Rules and Regulations are set to be finished on the 1st week of July.