The Parents Against Vape (PAV) called on fellow parents and guardians to take a strong stance against the plan of Philip Morris International Inc (PMI) to make its heated tobacco product BONDS by IQOS, be made available in sari-sari stores nationwide.
BONDS by IQOS with its accompanying tobacco sticks, BLENDS is a new product from IQOS. BONDS by IQOS is the PMI’s heated tobacco product launched recently in the Philippines, intended for adults who would otherwise continue smoking or using other nicotine products.
Both BONDS by IQOS and BLENDS are now available in Metro Manila as of November 2022, with more sari-sari stores expected to carry the product next year.
“Nicotine, in any form, is harmful to our child’s growing brain. We, as parents and others, should take efforts to reduce the exposure of our young children to e-cigarettes,” PAV said. “Vaping is far from being safe.”
Formally launched in 2019 in Davao City, Parents Against Vape is an association of parents working together to promote policies that protect children and youth against the harms of vapes and e-cigarettes.
Serious public health issue
PAV added that vaping among youth is a serious public health issue.
According to US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) the brain keeps developing until about age 25.Using nicotine in adolescence can harm the parts of the brain that control attention, learning, mood, and impulse control.
It added that each time a new memory is created or a new skill is learned, stronger connections – or synapses – are built between brain cells.
“Young people’s brains build synapses faster than adult brains. Nicotine changes the way these synapses are formed. Using nicotine in adolescence may also increase risk for future addiction to other drugs,” the US CDC stated.
PAV also expressed worries on the impact of e-cigarettes on the lungs, for according to the US CDC, vaping can fill the lungs with many aerosols, including nicotine and vitamin E acetate.
Laboratory data show that vitamin E acetate, an additive in some tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)-containing e-cigarette, or vaping, products, is strongly linked to the E-cigarette or Vape-Associated Lung Injury (EVALI) outbreak.
EVALI in PH
In 2019, the Department of Health (DOH) officially received a report on the first case of EVALI from a private pediatric pulmonologist based in the Visayas.
The attending physician relayed pertinent details of the case to the DOH through its official communication channels.
According to the case report, the patient is a 16-year old female adolescent who had been using e-cigarettes for six months while concurrently consuming combustible cigarettes, referred to as “dual use.”
The patient, who was admitted on October 21, 2019 initially presented with sudden-onset severe shortness of breath, required oxygen supplementation and ICU admission.
Upon admission, the clinical impression was initially considered to be infectious in nature.
However, upon further evaluation, the patient met the case criteria for EVALI based on the guidelines of the US CDC.
“As parents we should not let our children try e-cigarettes at all. Let us be concerned with the health and welfare of our children,” PAV said.
“This Christmas, the best gift we can give our children is good health. Let’s make sure that they are safe and free from harms brought by vapes and e-cigarettes,” PAV stressed.