The World Health Organization (WHO) warns that the use of electronic cigarettes or e-cigarettes could trigger heart attack, stroke and hypertension.


According to Dr. Susan Mercado, Director for Building Healthy Communities and Populations – WHO Western Pacific Region Office,  e-cigarettes contain “pure nicotine” that could lead to fatal and debilitating conditions.

She explained, “The action of e-cigarettes is based on constriction. It makes your blood vessels constrict, depending on the amount you are taking… We don’t know how much nicotine you get from inhaling e-cigarettes.”

In a press briefing following the Red Orchid Awards  at the Philippine International Convention Center on Tuesday, 2 July,  Dr. Mercado said, “What we’ve seen in other countries is that they start in e-cigatettes and they end up smoking the regular cigarettes … WHO wants to warn young people. It is not known to be a safe product. We do not have the evidence to say that its safe and we don’t have the evidence that it will  help you stop (smoking).”

Dr. Mercado noted, “Some countries have taken steps to regulate e-cigarettes, recognizing their potential harm to the health. “Singapore has regulated e-cigarettes and so has Hong Kong. And I think Australia has also regulated e-cigarettes and also the United Kingdom. So I think countries are starting to do it on their own, using their own laws.”

The Red Orchid Awards is a recognition given by the Department of Health (DOH) to government offices, state hospitals and local government units that have been consistent in promoting a “100-percent tobacco-free” environment.



Sheila Crisostomo / Philippine Star

Jet Villa/ Interaksyon

Jocelyn R. Uy /Philippine Daily Inquirer





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