Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday said he will ban the import and public use of vapor devices, citing health concerns.
Duterte said those who will violate his order will be arrested. “I am now ordering the law enforcement agencies to arrest anybody vaping in public,” he said, comparing vaping to smoking.
Earlier, the Philippines reported its first vaping-related illness. According to the Department of Health (DOH), a teenage girl was admitted to hospital on Oct. 21 complaining of “sudden onset severe shortness of breath.”
The DOH called for an outright ban on vaping earlier as it warned Filipinos that e-cigarettes are not a proven nicotine-replacement therapy and can cause lung illness.
Around 1 million Filipinos use e-cigarettes, according to the DOH.