A Greek cardiologist and top harm reduction expert asked the Philippine government to regulate, and not ban, the use of electronic cigarettes to help smokers quit the habit and save them from premature death.
Dr. Konstantinos Farsalinos, a researcher at Onassis Cardiac Surgery Centre in Athens, says other countries are in fact lifting the ban on vaping—the act of inhaling and exhaling the vapor produced by an electronic cigarette which is a battery-operated device that vaporizes a flavored liquid made of nicotine, propylene glycol, glycerine and flavorings.
“The trend today is to lift the ban, not to implement the ban,” says Farsalinos who managed to quit a 36-year habit of smoking by switching to e-cigarettes seven years ago.“
Switzerland and Belgium used to ban nicotine-containing products but now they have lifted the ban. New Zealand is now actively encouraging the use of e-cigarettes and they are changing the legislation. The same is happening in Canada, which is the only country in the world where the e-cigarette packaging is going to have an encouragement label that this product is less harmful than smoking,” he says in an interview in Makati City where he spoke during the 50th Annual Convention and Scientific Meeting of Asia Pacific Society of Cardiology 2019 Congress.
Farsalinos advised countries to look at the European example. “Europe is the only region in the world with a comprehensive and fully implemented regulation on e-cigarettes for the past three years since 2016. This could be a good starting point for every country in the world to use this as a basis and adjust the regulation based on their local, unique characteristics,” he says.
He says among countries, the UK has the strongest support for electronic cigarettes.
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