ALFRANCIS Chua continues to come under fire after being caught on national television smoking an e-cigarette on the Barangay Ginebra bench during a game against Blackwater last Saturday in Angeles City.
On Thursday, an anti-smoking group waded into the issue, saying the Ginebra team governor ignored a number of health advisories issued by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on the danger posed by smoking in public places.
“These FDA advisories outline the government’s position on the matter. It’s not just the DOH spokeperson’s word, it is official,” said Health Justice Philippines, Inc. official Atty. Debby Sy, who furnished Spin.ph with copies of studies conducted by the FDA regarding the ill-effects of exposure to e-cigarettes or vapes.
Sy cites FDA Advisory No. 2013-015 that highlights the possible harmful effects of secondary exposure to e-cigarette emission to the health of those around the e-cigarette smoker.
The said advisory states that: “Electronic cigarettes are not emission-free. E-cigarettes contain volatile organic substances, including propylene glycol, flavors, nicotine, and are emitted as mist or aerosol into indoor air.”
“The substances may be inhaled by non-users when used indoor. Second-hand exposure to e-cigarette emission which may lead to adverse health effects cannot be excluded,” added the FDA advisory, noting that high levels of possible carcinogens like nickel, chromium, and lead are present in e-cigarette smoke and could further pose more health risks for those exposed to it.
The advisory also mentioned article 2a of Republic Act 7394 or the Consumer Act of the Philippines, which protects the interests of the consumer, promote his general welfare and to establish standards of conduct for business and industry.
"Towards this end, the State shall implement measures to (a) achieve protection against hazards to health and safety. Local government units shall be guided by this advisory in strengthening their ordinances against smoking in public spaces and on second-hand exposure to harmful substances,” the FDA advisory said.
Sy bared that she will now bring up the matter to the Health Justice Philippines group in their meeting on Friday morning to discuss their course of action on this issue.
“Will bring it up with my advocates in my meeting tomorrow,” said Sy, a staunch advocate against traditional and electronic smoking.