MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday joked that he would have the inventor of e-cigarettes killed, days after he banned their use in public places.
Duterte told a crowd of elderly Filipinos in Taguig City that he would have the vape inventor be subjected to extrajudicial killing.
“Sino ba ang demonyong nag-imbento ng vaping na 'yan? Pinapahanap ko nga. Ipa-extra judicial killing ko 'yan,” he said in jest during the opening of Taguig’s Center for the Elderly.
(Who is the demon who invented vaping? I want to find him. I will order his extrajudicial killing.)
The invention of the modern e-cigarette has been widely attributed to Hon Lik, a Chinese national.
President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday said he would ban the use of vaping devices or e-cigarettes in public, as well as the importation of such devices.
While Duterte has yet to issue a written order to back his ban on vaping, the Philippine National Police (PNP) on Wednesday already began its crackdown on users and vendors of e-cigarettes.
There are about 1 million e-cigarette users in the Philippines according to the Department of Health.
Those caught vaping in public will be given a "warning" and will not be detained, a spokesman for the PNP said Thursday.
Violators will be released immediately after their offense is recorded in a police blotter, Brig. Gen. Bernard Banac told DZMM. Fines will depend on local ordinances, he said.
“Wala namang detention or jail time, kaagad naman na sila ay palalayain. Ito ay magsisilbi lamang na babala sa lahat ng mga vape users na ilagay sa tamang lugar ang paggamit nito na hindi nakakaabala sa ating mga kababayan,” Banac said.