Duterte bans use of vape, e-cigarettes in public places

Duterte bans use of vape, e-cigarettes in public places
In this photo taken November 20, a vape shop owner takes a puff in Manila. President Duterte ordered a ban on the importation of e-cigarettes and similar products and the arrest of those using them in public.
The STAR / Edd Gumban, file

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte issued an executive order banning the use of vape in public places, three months from when he first ordered the arrest of those who use vapes and e-cigarettes in public.

Duterte signed on February 26 Executive Order 106, “prohibiting the manufacture, distribution, marketing and sale of unregistered and/or adulterated electronic nicotine/non-nicotine delivery systems, heated tobacco products and other novel tobacco products.”

State-run PTV4 posted a copy of the EO on Friday morning.

Under the EO, vaping is prohibited “within enclosed public places and public conveyances...except in Designated Smoking/Vaping Areas.”

The EO expanded the coverage of EO No. 26, signed May 2017, that ordered “the establishment of smoke-free environments in public and enclosed places.”

“[T]here is a need to regulate the access to and use of [Electronic Nicotine and Non-Nicotine Delivery Systems(ENDS/ENNDS)], [Heated Tobacco Products (HTP)] and other novel tobacco products, to address the serious and irreversible threat to public health, prevent the initiation of non-smokers and the youth, and minimize health risks to both users and other parties exposed to emissions,” the order read.

The EO on banning vape comes three months after Duterte told reporters in a press conference: “I said smoking is dangerous. So vaping is also dangerous and I am banning it. If you are smoking now, you will be arrested.”

Following this, the police did not wait for a formal executive order and implemented the ban. They “booked” vape users on a police blotter and confiscated their items.

EXPLAINER: No written orders yet, but PNP ready to 'book' vape users

Prohibitions under EO 106

The EO defines “electronic cigarettes or vapes” as ENDS/ENNDS, that refer to “e-liquids, solutions or refills, whether or not containing nicotine, and an electronic delivery device.”

An HTP is defined as products “that may be consumed through heating tobacco, either electrically or through other means,” while novel tobacco products are those “substances, devices and innovations entirely or partly made of tobacco leaf as raw material, already existing or to be developed in the future, intended to be used as substitutes for cigarettes, conventional tobacco products, [vapes or e-cigarettes] or HTPs.”

The EO bans the use, purchasing and selling of vapes or e-cigarettes to persons below 21 years old. The incorporation of e-liquids, solutions and refills with flavours and additives that may be appealing to those below 21 is also prohibited.

It also prohibits the “failure to mark containers and packages of ENDS/ENNDS, HTPs, and the components thereof, with appropriate health warnings, pursuant to the content, format and specifications designated by the FDA, based on the actual ingredients or components of the product.”

The EO also bans the manufacture, distribution, marketing or sale of unregistered or unadulterated ENDS/ENNDS, components thereof in the form of devices, e-liquids, solutions or refills

It also ordered that all e-liquids, solutions or refills forming components of ENDS/ENNDS or HTPs should be registered with the Food and Drug Administration, and shall be subjected to Department of Trade and Industry and FDA standards.

Establishments manufacturing, distributing, importing and selling ENDS/ENNDS, HTPs or their components meanwhile are ordered to secure a license to operate from the FDA.

The order takes effect 15 days from publication in a newspaper of general circulation. — Kristine Joy Patag 





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