MANILA - Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto has filed a bill seeking to mandate sellers of vapor products and heated tobacco products to require buyers to prove that they are not minors before purchasing electronic cigarettes and other related products.
Senate Bill No. 1951 "imposes a minimum age restriction of 18 years for these products to ensure that only adults are allowed access to its use," Recto said in the measure's explanatory note.
"It also mandates that buyers be made to verify their age through a government-issued identification card," the bill read.
"Websites that carry these products should also be age-gated."
Aside from age restrictions, the bill also prohibits the use of e-cigarettes and other smoking devices in "schools, hospitals, government offices, and facilities intended particularly for minors."
"It further limits to designated vaping areas, the use of these products in indoor facilities and in other specific places that are open to the general public," said Recto, who has been seen smoking e-cigarettes inside his home while attending Senate sessions through videoconferencing.
The proposed measure also empowers the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to "ensure that defective, dangerous, and substandard products are kept off the market."
"This biil aiso requires risk-appropriate health warnings to be displayed on the package," according to the measure.
Should Recto's bill be passed into law, violators may be fined between P150,000 and P500,000 or be imprisoned up to 5 years.