After the mysterious appearance of a lung illness in the US related to vaping, a similar case has appeared in the Philippines as well. According to President Rodrigo Duterte, a teen contracted a lung issue after six months of using e-cigarettes. He informed that citizens that he will stop electronic cigarette import and ban its use in public.
Duterte informs of the ban
On Tuesday evening, President Duterte said, “I will ban it, the use and the importation. I am now ordering the law enforcement agencies to arrest anybody vaping in public.” He said that e-cigarettes contain nicotine and several other chemical substances that we do not know about.
On Monday, the Department of Health said that teenager who had been vaping for six months and smoking regular cigarettes, was diagnosed with lung injury. The case was diagnosed in the central Philippines. The 16-year-old was admitted to intensive care for “vape-associated lung injury.” The symptoms matched with criteria from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
This is the first time a country in Asia has diagnosed a mystery lung illness caused by vaping. It has caused 40 deaths and affected another 2,000 people. Earlier this year, the US also talked about this issue, and President Donald Trump ordered a ban on electronic cigarettes.
Regulators around the world are cracking down on the e-cigarette industry. The electronic devices were once promoted as a good way to quit smoking. It came with refillable “juice” that contains nicotine and flavoring substances. By November 2019, 30 countries have banned electronic cigarettes, including Brazil and India.
An unexpected ban
Last month, the Finance Secretary of the Philippines, Carlos Dominguez said that it is unlikely that the country will ban e-cigs. However, he suggested that the government could impose higher taxes on the products. Tuesday’s announcement was an unexpected move from Duterte as the industry was expecting punitive actions of a financial nature.
Note that the Philippines is an important market in Southeast Asia region for prominent e-cigarette companies like Juul Labs Inc. With the ban on import and use of their products, these companies will face massive losses and heightened scrutiny in other countries. On the other hand, tobacco companies had a field day on the stock market. Billionaire Lucio Tan’s holding company LT Group Inc. witnesses a 2.9% rise in its stock prices on Wednesday. The company is the local partner of Philip Morris International Inc. Juul Labs partner JG Summit Holdings Inc. fell by 1%.