Health Impact of and Policy Regulations on Electronic Cigarettes
Background. New findings on the detrimental health effects of electronic nicotine delivery system (ENDS)/ electronic non-nicotine delivery system (ENNDS) confounds the “harm reduction” perspective of using it as an alternative to conventional cigarettes. In the Philippines, the pressing debate on its safety and efficacy had initiated actions from policy makers on legislative issues such as draft DOH Administrative Order, House Bill 4325 and House Bill 532.
Objective. The study aimed to craft an evidence-based policy position on the regulation of ENDS/ENNDS.
Method. Review of literature was conducted, and the proposed scope and measures on electronic cigarette regulation were compared with WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO-FCTC) and existing policies of US FDA regulations on ENDS. Further, UP Manila convened experts of various related fields for evidence-based review and discussion of policy issues to arrive at a consensus policy statement and recommendations.
Results. Findings showed that ENDS/ENNDS still need further research to have conclusive results on long term safety and efficacy as smoking cessation methods.
Conclusion. Regulations for tobacco control should be clear and supported with strict guidelines in manufacturing, distribution, advertisement, selling, and usage restrictions in public. With the current review, it is recommended that ENDS/ENNDS regulation be under the mandate of the FDA in alignment to WHO-FCTC and to engage different stakeholders from policy makers, implementers, and other involved organizations.