The health warnings for e-cigarettes and other vapor products should be different from warnings on combustible cigarettes, according to a health expert. Indonesian professor and medical expert Tikki Pangestu sought a distinction on the health warnings during the second Philippine Harm Reduction Online Forum held by Harm Reduction Alliance of the Philippines recently.
“Health warnings on combustible cigarette packs should not be the same as those on the packaging of e-cigarettes and HTPs (heated tobacco products). This is because e-cigarettes and HTPs have been shown to be 90- to 95-percent less harmful than combustible cigarettes,” said Pangestu, visiting professor at the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine at the National University of Singapore and former director for research policy and cooperation of the World Health Organization, according to an article in The Manila Times.
The implementing rules and regulations of Republic Acts 11346 and 11467 mandate the Department of Health to issue health warning templates for HTPs and vapor products. Pangestu said the health warnings should be “proportionate to the risk of smoke-free products.”
He suggested that health warnings could state that HTPs or vapes, while not free from harm, are “significantly less harmful” than combustible cigarettes.
“The health warnings could also indicate that smoke-free products are for adults only and should not be used by the youth,” Pangestu said. “There are many factors to be considered in developing regulations but in my view, such regulations must be based on the science and evidence around smoke-free products.”