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Vaping Among Filipino Youth: A Rising Concern in 2024

Vaping Among Filipino Youth: A Rising Concern in 2024


Have you noticed how vaping has become the new ‘it’ thing in town? From the streets of Manila to the shores of Cebu, vaping is no longer just a sideline scene; it’s front and center among Filipino youth. But, this trend is more than just about creating those cool clouds of smoke. Recent findings, including those from the Global Youth Tobacco Survey, paint a startling picture: a significant number of our young Pinoy students, aged 13 to 15, are now part of the vaping among filipino youth community. That’s a shift we can’t just ignore.

Reports like those from the Southeast Asia Tobacco Control Alliance (SEATCA) reveal alarming statistics: about 14.1% of Filipino students in this age group are currently using e-cigarettes. And it’s not just about numbers. Health experts, including those contributing to discussions in medical journals like PubMed, emphasize the health risks associated with vaping, particularly for the developing brains of our kabataan.

So, why are our young Filipinos taking up vaping? Is it the allure of flavored e-juices or the perceived ‘cool factor’? And more importantly, what are the implications for their health and well-being? As we take a deeper dive into this smoky issue, let’s explore these questions and shed light on the vaping trend that’s enveloping our youth.

The Current State of Vaping Among Filipino Youth

Vaping Among Filipino Youth

Vaping in the Philippines isn’t just a passing cloud; it’s more like a gathering storm. The numbers speak louder than words. A staggering 14.1% of Filipino students aged 13 to 15 are now puffing on e-cigarettes, as per the Global Youth Tobacco Survey. Compare this to traditional tobacco use, which, according to the Health Secretary Teodoro Herbosa, has seen a decrease among adults from 29.7% in 2009 to 19.5% in 2021, and among the youth from 22% in 2007 to 12% in 2019. It’s clear: vaping is the new cigarette for the young Filipinos.

But here’s the tricky part – habang tumataas ang usage ng vaping, there’s a significant gap in research on its health implications, especially in the Philippine setting. Although studies globally have highlighted the potential risks of vaping, local research specific to Filipino youth remains kulang. This lack of comprehensive data on the health effects of e-cigarettes among Filipinos is a gap that needs urgent attention.

Moreover, the vaping industry in the Philippines, as pointed out in discussions in medical journals like PubMed, is influenced heavily by commercial interests. This, combined with the shift in regulation from the Department of Health to the Department of Trade and Industry as per Republic Act 11900, raises questions about the balance between economic gains and public health.

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Health Risks and Concerns

A man holds an electronic cigarette as he vapes at a Vape Shop in Monterrey, Mexico February 1, 2019. Picture taken February 1, 2019. FREUTERS/Daniel Becerril – RC1D65272E30

When it comes to vaping, it’s not all clouds and flavors. Behind the trendy facade lies a concerning reality. Health experts and organizations are raising the red flag about the risks associated with vaping, especially for our young Pinoys.

Una sa lahat, let’s talk about nicotine – the not-so-secret ingredient in many vape products. Ayon sa health experts, including those cited in publications like PubMed, nicotine can have harmful effects, lalo na on young, developing brains. It’s not just about getting hooked; nicotine can alter brain development, affecting attention, learning, and susceptibility to addiction later in life. Kaya ‘pag sinabing “vaping is safer,” think twice.

Then there are the long-term health consequences. Vaping might seem less harmful than traditional cigarettes, pero the truth is, we don’t fully understand the long-term effects yet. Health Secretary Teodoro Herbosa emphasizes the bad effects of nicotine, whether used in traditional tobacco or vapes. The potential harm to lungs and cardiovascular health is still a big question mark, making vaping a risky gamble for our youth.

In addition, the increasing popularity of vaping among the Filipino youth, as reported by the Southeast Asia Tobacco Control Alliance (SEATCA), brings another layer of concern. With more kabataan reaching for e-cigarettes, we’re facing a potential health crisis that could stretch well into the future.

To sum it up, while vaping is often marketed as a ‘safer’ alternative, the reality is far more complex and potentially harmful. Our kabataan need to be armed with the right information to make informed choices about their health.

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Regulatory Landscape and Government Response

Vaping Among Filipino Youth

As the vaping trend takes hold among the Filipino youth, the government’s tugon has been a mix of regulation and enforcement. Let’s unpack the legal landscape and government actions surrounding e-cigarettes and vaping sa Pilipinas.

Una, there’s a series of laws and regulations in place. We’ve got Executive Order 106, which prohibits the manufacture, distribution, and sale of unregistered electronic nicotine/non-nicotine delivery systems. Then there’s Republic Act 11467, which hikes up the excise taxes on alcohol and e-cigarettes, making them less accessible financially. Pero, one major shift was the passage of Republic Act 11900, which regulates e-cigarettes and transfers regulatory power from the Department of Health (DOH) to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). This move sparked debate, with some experts concerned about balancing public health and commercial interests.

On the enforcement front, efforts to limit vape access to minors have been ramped up. The DOH, in partnership with the Philippine National Police (PNP), has been actively working to enforce bans on minors’ access to vape products. Health Secretary Teodoro Herbosa even reached out to the PNP to help implement this law more stringently, recognizing the rising e-cigarette usage among the youth.

Furthermore, the role of the DOH and other agencies has been pivotal in combating the rise of vape usage. With campaigns and educational drives, they are not just enforcing laws but also spreading awareness about the potential harms of vaping. The goal is not just to regulate but also to educate – to ensure that the Filipino youth are making informed choices about their health.

In summary, the Philippine government’s response to the rising vape trend among the youth is a combination of legal frameworks, increased taxation, and collaborative enforcement, with a strong emphasis on public health education and awareness.

Community and Parental Involvement

In the battle against the vaping trend among Filipino youth, the frontliners aren’t just the government or health experts – they are also the parents and community organizations. Their role is crucial in addressing the vaping issue and safeguarding our kabataan.

Parents, unang-una, play a pivotal role. In our Filipino culture, where family is at the core, magulang can influence their children’s choices and behaviors. They’re not just authority figures; they’re mentors, guides, and confidantes. By staying informed about the risks of vaping and engaging in open dialogues with their children, parents can steer them away from making harmful decisions.

Then, there are community organizations, like Parents Against Vape (PAV), who are voicing out concerns and pushing for stronger regulations. These organizations are not just watchdogs; they’re advocates and educators, spreading awareness about the harms of vaping and rallying for stricter enforcement of sales and marketing practices targeting the youth.

Initiatives by various groups have also been pivotal. For example, the Philippine Legislators’ Committee on Population and Development, mentioned in the Southeast Asia Tobacco Control Alliance (SEATCA) report, highlights the easy access of tobacco products to minors. They call for stricter law enforcement to protect the youth.

Moreover, educational campaigns, both online and offline, initiated by these organizations, are instrumental in reaching out to both parents and youth, providing them with factual information and practical advice on avoiding the pitfalls of vaping.

In essence, the combined efforts of parents and community organizations form a strong defense line against the vaping epidemic among Filipino youth. Their involvement is key in creating a healthier environment for our kabataan.

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Call to Action

As we face the rising tide of vaping among our kabataan, it’s time for a collective call to action. Here are key strategies to dampen the allure of vaping for young Filipinos:

  1. Strengthen Law Enforcement: We need to amp up the enforcement of existing laws and regulations. It’s not just about having rules; it’s about making sure they’re followed. The government, local authorities, and law enforcement agencies must collaborate more closely to ensure that laws, like the ban on selling vape products to minors, are strictly implemented.
  2. Boost Educational Campaigns: Awareness is powerful. By ramping up education and awareness campaigns, both online and offline, we can reach more young individuals and their families. These campaigns should focus on the health risks of vaping and the deceptive marketing tactics used by vape companies.
  3. Engage Parents and Guardians: Parents play a critical role in influencing their children’s choices. We need to equip them with the right information and tools to guide their children wisely about the risks of vaping.

Together, through these combined efforts, we can create a healthier future for our youth, free from the haze of vaping.


As we wrap up our usapan about vaping among Filipino youth, let’s remember this: it’s a growing concern that needs urgent attention. The vape epidemic is not just a health issue; it’s a call to action for everyone – the government, communities, and families. By working together, enforcing laws, educating our youth, and guiding them with care, we can address this challenge. Let’s unite in this endeavor to ensure a healthier, vape-free future for our kabataan. Together, kaya natin ‘to!

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