All doctors nationwide are reminded to avoid any interaction with e-cigarette companies after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) received reports that the industry has been recruiting experts in efforts to support the product.
Health Undersecretary Eric Domingo, in FDA Advisory No. 2019-501, told the directors of both private and public hospitals to ensure their staff, especially medical officers, specialists and scientists, reject “all requests” from the e-cigarette industry.
“E-cigarette companies are currently engaging physicians… in an attempt to recruit them in disinformation campaigns that promote electronic cigarette use as viable harm reduction options,” said Domingo, who is also the FDA acting chief.
In addition, he said as e-cigarettes (electronic nicotine and non-nicotine delivery systems, heated tobacco) had been “proven to introduce new risks above and over those already present in traditional combustible cigarettes,” it wouldn’t look good for people from the medical community to express support for these products.
“Such engagements are inimical to the concord of medicine and public health, and reflect poorly on our commitment to protect the Filipino people from harm,” he said.
American Medical Association orders ban
Meanwhile, the American Medical Association already called for a ban on these products, subject to a regulation to be issued by the US FDA, given that both the claims of reduced exposure and reduced risk “[had] been debunked.”
Besides the risks posed by e-cigarettes, there were also issues regarding the product being used for illegal drugs, “blunting any purported public health benefit from e-cigarette implementation compliant with the relevant public health standards,” he said.
On November, President Rodrigo Duterte ordered a ban on the use and importation of e-cigarettes.
Earlier, the Department of Health recorded the first case of e-cigarette or vaping product use-associated lung injury in a 16-year-old girl from Central Visayas.