Bands Push Vape Bill Signing
VARIOUS groups have lobbied for the enactment of the Vape Bill, or the “Vaporized Nicotine and Non-Nicotine Products Regulation Act”, to provide adult smokers with “better alternatives” and to “end the tobacco epidemic in the country”.
These groups — Nicotine Consumers Union of the Philippines (NCUP), Philippine E-cigarette Industry Association, Consumer Choice Philippines, Quit for Good, Vapers PH, Vaper Ako, Pro Vape, Philippine Tobacco Harm Reduction Advocates Inc., and the Coalition of Asia Pacific Tobacco harm reduction advocates held a May 6 rally in Quezon City to reiterate their call for comprehensive vaping regulations.
They said the bill seeks to regulate smokeless alternatives such as e-cigarettes and heated tobacco products. The bill, they added, will protect minors and ensure that such products meet government standards.
Dr. Lorenzo Mata, head of anti-tobacco advocacy group Quit for Good, said the Vape Bill can help the 16 million Filipino smokers kick the deadly habit of smoking for good.
“We share the same goal with the rest of the health sector to end the smoking problem in the country. However, current conventional approaches to cessation are not producing meaningful results. That is why we are advocating pragmatic ways to help adult smokers quit smoking Contrary to conventional knowledge, nicotine is not the primary cause of smoking-related illness and death Science has repeatedly proven that combustion – in the case of cigarettes, tobacco combustion – is what produces the thousands of harmful and potentially harmful substances There is no shortage of science that confirms this fact, although some people have chosen to ignore it,” he added.
These groups said the vape measure will also close the gap in local regulations regarding the sale, manufacture and import of smokeless alternatives such as e-cigarettes, heated tobacco products and other new vape products. tobacco.
NCUP President Anton Israel said the bill, which awaits President Rodrigo Duterte’s approval, will offer smokers who have difficulty quitting access to “less harmful alternatives” while also stating the rules for the protection of minors.
“Mai penalties, mai kulong (there are penalties and there is imprisonment). We do not yet have a law that clearly and strictly lays down the regulations on vapes and heated tobacco products. In addition to helping adult smokers, the vape bill will generate funds to support universal health care Hindi lang smokers ang matutulungan nito (it’s not just smokers this bill can help)” , did he declare.
Vaper Ako spokesperson Joaqui Gallardo said the bill contains strong provisions designed to protect minors.
“[It] prohibits the sale and promotion of electronic cigarettes and heated tobacco products to minors. It also prohibits underage-appealing flavor descriptors. It even prohibits the sale or use of e-cigarettes near schools. Undoubtedly, the bill takes into account the well-being of our young people, while providing adult smokers with a pathway out of smoking,” he said.
Likewise, consumer group Pro Vape has also expressed hope that the bill will be enacted, stressing that it will help stop the tobacco epidemic and support the rights of Filipino consumers to choose “better and better” alternatives. much less harmful than cigarettes”.
“We strongly believe that having access to these alternative products and the right information about them will benefit adult smokers. Let’s not deprive them of a better option that science has to offer. Adult consumers have the right to choose “, added Consumer Choice Philippines President Luis de la Paz.
However, the Ministry of Health has expressed strong opposition to the bill, saying some of its provisions contradict public health goals and international standards.