FDA asks hospitals to report vaping-related illnesses amid rising cases abroad
Robie de Guzman • September 9, 2019 • 792
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.
MANILA, Philippines – The Pasay City government has banned the use of electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) in public spaces.
Under City Ordinance 6061, the use of e-cigarettes and other similar devices for vaping is prohibited in areas such as hospitals, health care centers, public conveyances, government offices, and educational or recreational facilities, primarily intended for minors.
Public enclosed and private workspaces should also have designated area for vaping.
The ordinance also prohibits the selling or purchasing of vaping products to minors.
Violators will be fined a minimum of P2,000 or 12 hours of community service for first conviction; P3,000 or 18 hours of community service for their second conviction, and a fine of P4,000 or 24 hours of community service for third conviction.
The ordinance also provides a “no contest provision” which allows violators to voluntarily pay the minimum administrative fine of P1,000 or render a six-hour community service in a public place to be supervised by a barangay chairman.
MANILA, Philippines – The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS) have been doing rounds in meat processing plants across the country.
According to Health Undersecretary and FDA Officer-In-Charge Eric Domingo, there is a total of 178 meat processing plants in the Philippines.
Tests have been conducted in 68 of these facilities and the results were negative of African Swine Fever (ASF).
“Tinitingnan natin ang kanilang mga planta tapos ang kanilang mga documents kung meron silang mga inspection at saka kung pasado sila sa lahat ng standards (We check their plants as well as their documents to determine if they do regular inspections and if they pass all the standards),” Domingo said.
The FDA is coordinating with the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) for assistance in monitoring supplies in local public markets in relation to the ASF.
Domingo admitted that it is difficult to identify if a product is infected with ASF that’s why it is better to choose a brand that is FDA registered.
One popular delicacy during holidays is the cured or glazed ham.
According to a retailers’ group, they already have taken orders of ham but only a minimal volume as compared to last year.
One reason for this is consumers’ fear of the outbreak of ASF virus.
“What is a bit difficult to estimate right now is how much ham should we order and how much ham will people buy,” lamented Steve Cua, President of the Philippine Amalgamated Supermarkets Association.
Still, Usec. Domingo said ASF-infected meat may still be consumed.
“Hindi naman po ito nakakahawa ng sakit sa tao (ASF is not transferrable to humans),” Domingo clarified.
“Kaya po natin siya talaga pinipigilan kasi ayaw nating kumalat sa iba pa pong hayop sa Pilipinas (The reason for prevention is because we do not want it to infect other animals in the Philippines),” he concluded. MNP (with details from Rey Pelayo)
MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) is eyeing to propose imposing additional taxes on salty food products in a bid to lower the high incidence of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in the country.
High consumption of salt is one of the causes of non-communicable diseases, such as diabetes, stroke and chronic respiratory illnesses. Excessive salt intake is also related to hypertension, kidney diseases and cardiovascular problems, according to the DOH.
DOH spokesperson and Undersecretary Eric Domingo noted that the recommended salt intake per day for adult Filipinos is just under a teaspoon or around two grams.
“Ang cause ng hypertension sa atin, maliban sa paninigarilyo, ay pagkain ng maalat. Dapat po isang tao, 2 grams lang per day, tayo po ang konsyumo natin 11-15 grams per day, so tayo ay 4-5 times sa mga Filipino,” Domingo said in a press briefing in Malacañang on Wednesday.
High sodium intake raises blood pressure that leads to stroke and heart diseases, the two biggest causes of death and disability worldwide, according to the WHO.
In the Philippines, the DOH reported that more than 170,000 individuals die each year from heart diseases, specifically hypertension.
To curb the high incidence of these diseases and to help encourage people to eat healthy foods, the DOH is pushing for the imposition of additional taxes on products with too much salt.
Domingo cited the experience of several countries that imposed tax on unhealthy food which forced companies to adjust their product formulation.
“And it has been found in many countries that when you tax products that are unhealthy, talagang nagde-decrease kasi ang intake and the companies reformulate yung kanilang product,” he said.
The government has implemented tax on sugary drinks as well as on tobacco products under the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)
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