House passes bill on regulating vape, e-cigarettes

House passes bill on regulating vape, e-cigarettes
This undated file photo shows a man vaping.
The STAR / Michael Varcas

MANILA, Philippines — Lawmakers on Tuesday passed a measure that would regulate the use and sale of e-cigarettes and vapes in the country, which includes lowering the age of those who can access it. 

House Bill No. 9007 hurdled the third and final reading at the House of Representatives this afternoon. Some 192 members of the lower chamber voted for it, while 34 were against and four abstained.

The measure, if passed into law, will allow the loosening of some restrictions. It would lower the minimum age of individuals who can buy and use vapes and e-cigarettes to 18-year-olds, from the previous 21.

Online selling of the two would be allowed as well, but websites should restrict access to those below 18, and signages should be displayed.

Advertisements in retail establishments would also be permitted, but should not target minors, should not undermine quit-smoking messages and not encourage the use to non-smokers.

Further, the bill would remove regulatory powers of the Food and Drug Administration over vapes and e-cigarettes, and move it to the Department of Trade and Industry.

Selling would be prohibited within 100 meters from schools, playgrounds, or other areas frequented by minors. Its use would also be banned in enclosed public places, except in designated areas.

The said bill was a result of multiple consolidated proposals by lawmakers. A similar version was filed in the Senate in December 2020 by Sen. Ralph Recto, the chamber's No. 2.




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