Philippines cites first case of vape-related injury

MANILA (Philippines Daily Inquirer/ANN) – Philippines’ Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said a 16-year-old girl from Central Visayas suffered from ‘sudden onset of difficulty of breathing’ after smoking e-cigarettes for just seven months since March.

The girl is the country’s first known victim of lung injury caused by electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes), or vaping, the Philippines’ Department of Health (DOH) said on Friday.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said the first recorded e-cigarette, or vaping, product use-associated lung injury (Evali) patient was not asthmatic but had been using an e-cigarette daily for four months since March. She then started smoking both the device and traditional cigarettes until she was hospitalised on October 21.

Two weeks prior to her hospitalisation, Duque said, the girl took cough medicines to help relieve her dry cough but to no avail.

The patient was brought to an undisclosed hospital after she had a “sudden onset of difficulty of breathing”, he said.

The DOH said that she “met the case criteria for Evali” based on guidelines provided by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).