Philippine Legislator Urges Approval of Vape Regulations

“We are seeking to enact the vape regulation bill in order to guarantee the safety of our Filipino consumers.”
Rodel Batocabe, a Party-list Representative from Ako Bicol party, asked the Congress’ House Committee on Health to immediately approve a bill which seeks to regulate the use of vape products.

House Bill 3330 or the “Vaporized Nicotine Product Regulation Act” has been waiting for its approval as early as 2016. According to the party’s website, bill encompasses “the packaging, use, sale, distribution, and advertisement of vaporized nicotine products “

Vaporized Nicotine Products or more commonly known as vape, has been available in the market since the 1960’s, however, its popularity grew during the first decade of the 21st century. Many argue that it is significantly less harmful than regular combustible cigarettes, however, there are still some that demand further researches be done on the products, and worry that people may become addicted to it.

Related: How to Help Someone End Their Vaping Addiction

A specialist from the University College of London said that vapes can be safer than cigarettes in a way that they contain fewer toxins compared to tobacco products. They also conducted a study that showed that people that switch to e-cigarettes from smoking tobacco had lower levels of toxins both in their saliva and urine than before.

On August 26, 2014, the World Health Organization called on countries to put a ban on the use of e-cigarettes in indoor places. More recently, the same organization has conducted researches that concluded that second-hand smoke coming from e-cigarettes are no less damaging than regular cigarettes.

“We are seeking to enact the vape regulation bill in order to guarantee the safety of our Filipino consumers. This will provide a clear-cut policy in addressing the concerns and issues concerning the use of e-cigarettes,” Batocabe said.

He further added that “Since the medical and scientific community has yet to arrive at a consensus regarding the safety of e-cigarettes, in the absence of the Philippine Food and Drug Administration’s validation, we should not assume that these products have the absolute propensity as reduced-risk nicotine-delivery systems.”

Other international groups such as the Public Health England and the British Lung Foundation have expressed that legislators should create separate regulations for vapes from their tobacco counterparts.

 “The regulation of the vaping industry would guarantee the quality and safety of the products available for use in the market. Products will be required to be registered at the Department of Trade and Industry three months prior to its release in the market,” Batocabe statement continued.

According to the bill, Vaporized Nicotine Products will be required to contain detailed instructions for the product’s proper use, storage, maintenance, and handling. The products are also required to contain a disclosure regarding the probable health damages that VPNs can cause.

Also, the proposed law mandated that minors aged 18 and below are prohibited to use and/or purchase the products. Sale of the products to minors will also be a punishable offense.

Lastly, advertisements via mass media such as televisions, cinemas, and radio will also be prohibited. Only point-of-sale or online advertisement may be allowed as long as they conform to the set standards.

Vape products are becoming increasingly famous among the youth. Many legislators worry that instead of it stopping people from smoking, vape may become a gateway for younger people to try out smoking.

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