House passes final reading bill regulating heated vapors and tobacco products

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The House approved the bill – which recognizes tobacco harm reduction as a public health strategy – in third and last place with a total of 192 affirmative votes.

MANILA, Philippines – A bill regulating the manufacture, sale and use of less harmful alternatives to cigarettes – such as vapes and heated tobacco products (HTP) – was approved by the House of Representatives on Tuesday during of its third and final reading.

The House passed Bill 9007 – or the Non-Combustible Nicotine Delivery Systems Regulation Bill – with 192 of its 300 representatives voting for it – with just 34 votes against and four abstentions.

The bill – which was co-authored by 154 representatives – seeks to reflect a public health strategy based on the principle of tobacco harm reduction, which is supported, among others, by the Royal College of Physicians in the Kingdom – United, according to AKO Bicol. Rep. Alfredo A. Garbin Jr., one of its co-authors.

The bill also aims to address loopholes in the regulation of vapers and HTP, which are gaining popularity with consumers, according to Sharon S. Garin, one of its sponsors, representative of AAMBIS-OWA.

“Thus, this bill, once passed, will provide a holistic regulatory framework for steam products and HTP that takes into consideration and balances the interests of the general public, as well as those stakeholders most interested in their use and use. sale, ”Garin said. .

Several consumer groups and industry stakeholders issued a joint statement shortly after the bill was passed, welcoming it as “balanced and objective” law.

According to the statement, there are nearly one million Filipino consumers of vaporized nicotine products, most of them former cigarette smokers.

The statement was released by Vapers PH, Nicotine Consumers Union of the Philippines (NCUP), Coalition of Asia Pacific Tobacco Harm Reduction Advocates (CAPHRA) and Philippine E-Cigarette Industry Association (PECIA).

Here are the reactions included in the statement:

“The proposed law will legitimize the market for vaporized nicotine products, which means consumers will benefit from better protection. We hope the Senate will also support this bill aimed at providing millions of Filipino smokers with less harmful alternatives to combustible cigarettes. – Clarisse Virgino, the Philippine representative of CAPHRA

“Passing Bill 9007 is a victory for Filipino consumers who have long fought to have our voices heard. We applaud the House of Representatives for finally recognizing our right to choose less harmful products such as e-cigarettes and HTP. ” – President of PECIA Joey Dulay

“We welcome the adoption of HB 9007 by the House of Representatives which has shown its determination to promote a progressive health policy that respects our rights as nicotine consumers and at the same time gives us options to switch to alternative products. with nicotine. We hope that the Department of Health and the Food and Drug Administration will also take inspiration from Congress to recognize harm reduction as a public health strategy. – NCUP President Anton Israel

“We would like to thank our members of Congress for reviewing the scientific evidence in proposing a bill that would give Filipino adult smokers the choice to switch to less harmful alternatives to combustible cigarettes.” –Peter Paul Dator, President of Vapers PH

Provisions have been widely discussed

According to Garin, the bill’s provisions were scrutinized by the joint trade and industry and health committees and were approved by an overwhelming 102 affirmative votes with only 12 negative votes and two abstentions. .

“We envision that this bill will help protect public health, not only for non-smokers, but also for current adult Filipino smokers,” Garin said.

The bill includes the following provisions

Retailers may only sell Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS), Electronic Non-Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENNDS), or HTPs. Sale to minors is prohibited. Retailers will need to ask buyers for a valid government issued ID.

Manufacturers, importers and distributors must also comply with certain packaging and health warning requirements. Among other things, the health warning will contain the words: “This product contains nicotine, a highly addictive substance.” All e-liquid containers must be childproof, tamper-proof, and protected against breakage and leakage.

The use of alternative products will be prohibited in all closed public places, except in designated vaping areas. Indoor use of the products is prohibited in schools, hospitals, government offices and facilities intended for minors.

The sale or distribution of these products within 100 meters of any point on the perimeter of a school, a playground or any other facility frequented by minors is also prohibited.

Manufacturers are prohibited from sponsoring any sport, concert, or cultural or artistic event.

It requires the designation of vaping areas that must not exceed 20 percent of the total floor area of ​​the building or conveyance, but that must not be less than 10 square meters.

Online sale or e-commerce involving these products is permitted.

Once the bill is signed, the Ministry of Trade and Industry (DTI) will publish the implementing rules and regulations within 90 days from the date of entry into force. The DTI will do this in consultation with the Ministry of Health, the National Tobacco Administration and other relevant government agencies.

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