FDA insists on power to regulate vapes, calls on Marcos to junk vape bill

Jauhn Etienne Villaruel, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 22 2022 05:35 PM

This photo illustration shows a customer smoking at a vape store in Manila on Nov. 20, 2019. Dante Diosina Jr., AFP/File
This photo illustration shows a customer smoking at a vape store in Manila on Nov. 20, 2019. Dante Diosina Jr., AFP/File

MANILA –– The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has joined the chorus of health organizations and advocates calling on President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos, Jr. to "veto in its entirety" the controversial vape bill.

In a letter sent to Marcos on Thursday, the FDA insisted it had the constitutional mandate to regulate vapes.

"FDA is the rightful authority, possessing the expertise, competencies, and manpower to develop standards to regulate and monitor novel tobacco products," FDA officer-in-charge director general Dr. Oscar Gutierrez, Jr. said in the letter.

Gutierrez highlighted the recent Supreme Court (SC) ruling that affirmed the power of FDA to regulate "health products" or those that may have effects on people's health.

Under the vape bill, regulation of vapes would be transferred to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). 

"Passing the bill will reverse the significant progress which has been made in former President Rodrigo Duterte's administration," Gutierrez noted. 

Under the current law, flavored vapes are not allowed, and such products can only be sold to anyone above 21. 

Marcos inherited the vape bill from Duterte's office as a consequence of its late transmission to the Office of the President. 

The measure is set to lapse into law on July 24. 

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