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P32.76 million illegal vape products seized

Louella Desiderio - The Philippine Star
P32.76 million illegal vape products seized
Metropolitan Manila Development Authority personnel man a kiosk during the launch of the MMDA’s anti-vaping campaign in Barangay Tañong, Malabon yesterday. The MMDA initiated the campaign in partnership with the Department of Health.
Miguel De Guzman

MANILA, Philippines — The government has confiscated P32.76 million worth of illegal vape products over the past 15 months, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) reported yesterday.

In a statement, the DTI said thatfrom February 2023 to May 2024, 526 show-cause orders and 284 notices of violation were issued following the monitoring of 89,046 physical and online firms by the DTI’s Fair Trade Enforcement Bureau.

Under Republic Act 11900, the vape law, the DTI has principal jurisdiction over the regulation of vapes and other novel tobacco products.

Other agencies such as the Department of Health, Food and Drug Administration, Department of Social Welfare and Development, Department of Education, Bureau of Internal Revenue and local government units were assigned complementary roles.

The vape law prohibits the sale and promotion of vape products within 100 meters of areas frequented by minors.

“Marketing and selling vape products to minors is expressly prohibited under the vape law. However, there remains strong evidence that the vape industry players are making use of marketing strategies aimed towards the youth – who remain to be the more impressionable segments of the population,” DTI Secretary Alfredo Pascual said.

DTI Fair Trade Group supervising head Agaton Uvero said the agency is committed to ensuring the full compliance of manufacturers, importers, distributors and retailers of vape products with the law.

To address the problem of youth vaping, the DTI has teamed up with advocacy groups such as Health Justice Philippines, Social Watch Philippines, Philippine Legislators’ Committee on Population and Development, Child Rights Network and the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.

The DTI is also looking to intensify implementation and enforcement mechanisms of the vape law.

The public is encouraged to report violators of the vape law through the DTI’s consumer care hotline at DTI (1-384) or [email protected].       

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DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH

VAPE

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