June 22, 2024

ban e-cigarettes in schools

The Department of Education said it has intensified its efforts to end vaping within school premises, including prohibiting the selling and promotion of the product within a school’s 100-meter radius.

Education Asec. Dexter Galban said the DepEd will collaborate with other government agencies to ensure strict compliance with the ban.

“We are intensifying the implementation of our programs. From Friends versus Drugs that became Friends versus Vices, integrating it to our mental health program,” he said.

The programs were launched in adherence to DepEd Order 14 and DepEd Memorandum 111, which prohibits the use of cigarettes and vapes in schools.

“We also created a task force, led by the youth, our learners who will serve as watchdogs,” Galban added.

Among the partner agencies for the campaign are the Department of Health, the Department of Trade and Industry, and the Department of the Interior and Local Government.

The DILG and DOH will help cascade policies and awareness campaigns beyond school premises, while the DTI will assist the DepEd stop the sale of vapes, considering its enticing marketing strategy.

“Some remain accessible because the vape packaging is also evolving. Some look like a flash drive, ballpen, highlighter, etc.,” Galban said.

“We will work together with each government agency, especially in local government units to ensure that this vape will not be available to our learners.”

Galban, meanwhile, warned learners that vaping is highly addictive and may cause low concentration, withdrawal symptoms, and may even affect brain functions.

“Vaping has many bad side effects. Especially because oftentimes, it has a very high nicotine content. It’s very addicting, enticing,” he said.

He also urged parents and teachers to become role models and participate in the DepEd’s awareness campaigns.

In an earlier report, the DepEd said around six to seven percent of grades 7 to 9 learners have already tried or are using vape.

The Philippine Pediatric Society, likewise, reported 11 percent of students aged 10 to 15 have tried vaping based on a 2021 data. – PNA