December 7, 2023
VAPES SEIZED IN UNIVERSITIES — Assorted vapes and e-cigarette products that were seized mostly from students of two universities in Baguio were destroyed on Oct. 20 as part of the citywide smoke-free campaign of the city government. The Public Order and Safety Division reported around 245 e-cigarette devices were confiscated from the two universities. — Contributed photo

Two universities in Baguio conducted a ceremonial crushing of confiscated e-cigarettes last Oct. 20 as support to the city’s smoke-free campaign.

The event was attended by the Smoke-Free Task Force, enforcers of the Public Order and Safety Division, school staff, and advocates for a smoke-free Baguio.

A total of 245 e-cigarettes were seized, originating from both the University of Baguio and the University of the Cordilleras.

POSD Chief Daryll Kim Longid said the substantial number of confiscated devices was a result of visual inspections and regular conduct of operation kapkap. He said it is now crucial for educational institutions to engage in such campaigns, as the youth are the main focus of the vape industry.

“This sends a strong message to encourage other schools to do the same. We have to counter the propaganda (vape industry) and we have to make them understand that vape is not an alternative to smoking or a means to quit smoking,” Longid said.

He added e-cigarettes are more detrimental than traditional cigarettes contrary to claims that these are better alternatives.

Dr. Donnabel Panes, medical officer IV and the tobacco control officer of Baguio City, emphasized the relevance of the entire community joining the smoke-free campaign.

She said communities should realize the need for the new generation to say no to smoking and vaping since they are the primary target of e-cigarette manufacturers.

“We encourage everyone especially the youth by joining our campaign and be educated as early as now because it is difficult to stop them once they have already tried it,” Panes said. – Jason Rey L. Rivera