MANILA — The Philippines has banned the entry of imported vape products, a leader of the House of Representatives said Monday.
Authorities at the capital's airport have started to confiscate imported vape products, the issuance of permits for which was stopped by both the National Tobacco Administration and the Food and Drug Administration, said House Ways and Means Committee Chairperson Joey Salceda.
"In short, we have an import ban on vape through [what] you call import barriers," he said.
The development comes nearly 3 weeks following President Rodrigo Duterte's order to the arrest of those vaping in public, after the health department reported that a 16-year-old girl from Central Visayas suffered lung injury due to e-cigarettes.
Salceda, however, shunned a total ban of vape products, saying this might encourage its smuggling. He also cited a US Center for Disease Control study saying that 87 percent of vaping-related injuries are due to illicit products.
Lawmakers are studying at a P45-tax per milliliter of vape to discourage its use, he said.
"Importante ang taxation kasi in the long run, you need to regulate it instead of total prohibition. Mas injurious po kasi walang product standards ang illicit trade of vaping," said Salceda.
—Report from RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News