FDA asks hospitals to report vaping-related illnesses amid rising cases abroad
Robie de Guzman • September 9, 2019 • 564
MANILA, Philippines – The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is calling on hospitals under the Department of Health (DOH) to report any cases of illness or injury related to the use of electronic cigarettes (e-cigarette) and vaping amid rising number of such cases in other countries.
“The FDA requests all DOH-retained hospitals to immediately communicate relevant case reports of injuries and illnesses documented arising from the use of these devices,” the agency said in an advisory.
The FDA said this is in the interest of evidence-based policy development, and in line with the emerging report of electronic cigarette-related injury and illnesses from Europe and North America.
The agency said the use of electronic nicotine and non-nicotine delivery systems (ENDS/ENNDS) are under the purview of the agency based on Republic Act 9711, the FDA said.
“In compliance with the Data Privacy Act of 2012, it is expected that the information provided will be anonymized in as much as they are thorough and extensive,” the agency said.
As of August 27, U.S. health authorities have monitored 215 possible cases of pulmonary illnesses, all patients have reported using e-cigarette products.
According to the USCDC, e-cigarettes can contain harmful or potentially harmful substances, including nicotine, heavy metals such as lead, volatile organic compounds, and cancer-causing chemicals.
Additionally, some e-cigarette products are used to deliver illicit substances, which may be acquired from unknown or unauthorized sources.
“Based on reports from several states, patients have experienced respiratory symptoms (cough, shortness of breath, or chest pain), and some have also experienced gastrointestinal symptoms (nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea) or non-specific constitutional symptoms (fatigue, fever, or weight loss). Symptoms typically develop over a period of days but sometimes can manifest over several weeks,” the advisory stated.
The USCDC have recommended some steps for clinicians, including the reporting of cases of severe pulmonary disease of unclear etiology and history of e-cigarette use within the past 90 days, to help determine the cause of these sicknesses.
The World Health Organization (WHO) earlier said the use of e-cigarettes should be regulated as there is no evidence proving they were a safer alternative to cigarettes, warning that it normalizes smoking and hooks young people.
India became the latest country after Brazil and Thailand to ban the sale of e-cigarettes in what could potentially be the biggest move against vaping globally over growing health concerns.
The ban, which also covers the production, import and advertising of e-cigarettes, cuts off a huge future market from e-cigarette makers at a time when the number of people smoking worldwide is declining.
“There has been a 77 percent increase in addiction of e-cigarettes among school-going or college-going young adults, teenagers, and children because nicotine addiction is quick and it is harmful as well,” Indian Secretary of Health and Family Welfare Preeti Sudan said.
India has 106 million smokers, second only to China.
The ban could also dash the expansion plans of companies such as Altria, backed Juul Labs, and Philip Morris International into the country.
“$150 billion opportunity, now that’s what is estimated, the nicotine market is going to be, why are we denying our farmers that, why are we denying our citizens a right to a less harmful product, these are questions that I would really like to ask the government,” Praveen Rikhy, Trade Representatives of endsin India said. (Reuters)
MANILA, Philippines – Regulations on processed meat such as well-loved Filipino delicacies tocino and longganisa should be tightened by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), according to the Department of Agriculture (DA).
According to Agriculture Undersecretary for Consumer Affairs Ernesto Gonzales, consumers cannot be complacent on buying these processed products especially if they are not sure of the source or origin of the raw meat.
Gonzales added that it is difficult to determine if the pork meat is contaminated with African Swine Fever (ASF) once it is processed.
He added that even ‘botcha’ or double-dead pork meat can be made into meat delicacies without the consumer noticing it because of colorings and extenders used in the process.
The official said the best way to determine if the pork meat is safe for consumption is to know the source of the raw meat, and if it is certified by the National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS).
“Kapag na-issue-han na ang karne from slaughterhouse ng meat inspection certificate (once meat from the slaughterhouse is issued with meat inspection certificate), definitely that meat is safe to eat,” Gonzales said.
However, the DA admitted that the government is lacking when it comes to regulations on processed meat so the coordination of the local government units (LGUs) is of utmost importance.
“Iyang problema natin yung mga maliliit na food processors na gumagawa ng mga longanisa, tocino, ang regulation hindi ganoon ka-strict ( The problem with small-time food processors or makers of longanisa and tocino is that the regulation is not that strict), ” Gonzales noted.
If ever the processed meat is infected with ASF, Gonzales said, it is still safe to eat, provided that it went through the proper cooking procedure of 30 minutes under 70’C temperature. – MNP (with details from Rey Pelayo)
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The FDA has warned establishments against selling these products.
“All concerned establishments are warned not to distribute violative food products until they have been issued the appropriate authorization, a License to Operate (LTO) for the establishment, and a CPR for the food products,” according to the FDA.
They also advised the public to always check if a food product or food supplement is registered with the FDA through their website (www.fda.gov.ph).—AAC
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