The Philippines bans the sale of e-cigarettes containing flavors other than menthol and tobacco. House Deputy Speaker Rodante Macoletta stressed that the e-cigarette bill has rigorous safeguards for youth protection.
March 3 – The Philippine Bicameral Conference Committee Report on Omnibus House Bill 9007 and Senate Bill 2239, also known as the e-cigarette bill, would ban the sale of e-cigarettes with flavor-descriptions that appeal to young people.
Rep. Sharon Garin, chairman of the House Economic Affairs Committee and a member of the Vape Bill House, told members of the media.
“With the passage of the e-cigarette bill, we are consolidating the provisions of RA 11467 and Executive Order 106 issued by President Duterte, specifically the ban on the sale of e-cigarettes with flavors other than menthol and tobacco. Under the e-cigarette bill, we have added another ban on the sale of e-cigarettes with flavor-descriptions that appeal to young people. It is in addition to the flavor ban that exists today,” she said.
Nueva Ecija 1st District Rep. Estrellita Suansing, a longtime health advocate and one of the authors of the House e-cigarette bill, said lawmakers were aware of the flavor-related concerns when they drafted the bill.
“The e-cigarette bill is stringent on flavors. We understand that flavors should not be used for minors and non-smokers. Our goal has always been to attract adult Filipino smokers and convince them to use these products instead of cigarettes,” she said.
House Deputy Speaker Rodante Macoletta emphasized that the e-cigarette bill has rigorous safeguards for youth protection.
He said that half of the 30 provisions throughout the bill prohibit the flavors, especially for minors who should not have access to these products.
In February 2020, President Rodrigo Duterte issued Executive Order No. 106 regulating vapor products, including a ban on the sale of e-cigarettes with flavors that appeal to young people. Most of the order’s provisions are consistent with those for cigarette products.
“We need a comprehensive and specific law to regulate vapor products similar to what we do with cigarette products. We made sure that all aspects of the regulation of these products were included in the bill, including manufacturing, importation, sale, distribution, use, and advertising. We went to great lengths to include even the provisions of EO 106, issued by the President. More importantly, we ensure that the bill is enforceable by including stiff penalties for violators-something we do not currently have under RA 11467 and EO 106.” Rep. Garin further noted.
Once enacted, the e-cigarette bill would solidify and further entrench the provisions of RA 11467 and EO 106, providing additional support for these existing rules. In addition to prohibiting the sale of high-nicotine e-cigarettes (65mg/ml or more), the e-cigarette bill further expands the restrictions of EO 106 by banning the use of e-cigarette products in churches and government buildings. It also prohibits the use of advertising materials that appeal to minors.