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House eyes revisions on vapes regulation

Edu Punay - The Philippine Star
House eyes revisions on vapes regulation
Proponents of bills regulating electronic nicotine delivery system products in the House said the final consolidated version of the law is likely to amend certain provisions of EO 106.
The STAR / Russell Palma / File

MANILA, Philippines — Lawmakers are looking at revising regulations on e-cigarettes and vapes set in President Duterte’s executive order.

Proponents of bills regulating electronic nicotine delivery system (ENDS) products in the House said the final consolidated version of the law is likely to amend certain provisions of EO 106.

The STAR learned that the joint House committees on health and trade and industry have agreed on certain provisions of the proposed measure which do not conform with the EO.

For instance, the minimum age allowed to use e-cigarettes, vapes and heated tobacco products (HTPs) in EO 106 is 21 years, while the House panel is considering the minimum age of 18 years.

The law recognizes 18 years as the country’s legal age. It is also the age set in most of the bills filed on ENDS regulation, consistent with existing regulations on tobacco smoking.

Proponents argued it would be illogical to set more stringent regulation on ENDS, which have reportedly been proven to be less harmful than combustible cigarettes and which are being used globally to reduce tobacco users.

Members of the panel’s technical working group (TWG) opposed the prohibition of persons under the age of 21 from using and purchasing ENDS and HTPs because conventional cigarettes can easily be accessed by those aged 18, 19 or 20. 

They stressed that setting the minimum age at 21 could be accepted only if Republic Act 9211 (Tobacco Regulation Act) is amended to set the minimum age for smoking at 21.

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