House panel approves bill regulating sale of vapes, e-cigarettes

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 31 2020 11:12 AM

A woman.smoke with an electronic cigarette in Pasay City. Gigie Cruz, ABS-CBN News/File

MANILA - The House of Representatives Committee of Trade and Industry has approved a bill regulating the manufacture, sale and distribution of vapes, e-cigarettes and other electronic nicotine and non-nicotine delivery systems, a lawmaker said Monday.

The committee approved the measure which is expected to curb the illegal selling of vapes and e-cigarettes and other heated tobacco products to minors, Committee chair and Valenzuela 1st District Rep. Wes Gatchalian said in a statement.

Based on the committees estimates, there were about 800 "backyard stores," he said.

Under the proposed measure only those aged 18 years old and above shall be allowed to purchase, sell and use such products. Flavors that lure minors shall also be limited, Gatchalian said.

Retailers, including online sales, will be mandated to verify the age of buyers using valid IDs with photograph and date of birth.

“We would like to emphasize that this bill will serve to regulate, and not ban, the sale of these products,” Gatchalian said.
 
The electric devices used in vapes and e-cigarettes will be regulated by the Department of Trade and Industry and to ensure that they comply with electrical safety standards, he said.

President Rodrigo Duterte in November last year banned the use of vapes and e-cigarettes in public after reports of illnesses related to heated tobacco products and the illegal sale to minors.

Following Duterte's orders, several lawmakers have moved to pass measures meant to "highly regulate" the use of vaping. 

-- with a report from RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News