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A dangerous vice

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The Department of Health recently warned that vaping can lead to heart attacks and other potentially fatal diseases, citing the case of a 22-year-old Filipino man who had no prior health issues but died of a heart attack due to severe lung injury, possibly linked to daily vape use.

The DOH said the patient was admitted to the hospital with severe chest pain and difficulty breathing. He suffered a heart attack caused by blockages in his two major arteries.

“The patient also developed a serious lung condition known as e-cigarette or vaping use associated lung injury (EVALI),” the DOH reported.

The patient developed respiratory failure and died three days after admission.

“E-cigarettes and vaping are not safe alternatives to smoking,” Health Secretary Ted Herbosa said. “May this tragic case serve as a stark reminder of their serious health risks.”

Health experts have said the chemicals in e-cigarettes can damage the heart and lungs, leading to conditions like heart attacks and EVALI. The DOH said vaping can increase the risk of heart attacks, even in young and otherwise healthy individuals.

It is plain and simple: vaping is not good for our health. But because our government can’t stop it from being sold and marketed to young people, the part of government that can warn against it can only try to do its job. The DOH wouldn’t warn against the dangers of vaping if it didn’t exist, so it would make sense for Filipinos, especially the young, to take heed of those warnings while vapes remain freely accessible, in various appealing flavors, all over the country.

Until government takes a stronger approach against vaping, that is all we can do. Together with the Department of Health.

The youth that are the current target of the vape and tobacco industry need to be better informed of its dangers. The warnings can come from their parents, teachers, and other role models, along with government, if it cannot stop those vapes from getting into those young hands and lungs.*

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