Lawmakers are engaged on a invoice to manage digital cigarettes (e-cigarettes) and related merchandise. However anti-smoking advocates argue that it’ll truly loosen up among the current restrictions meant to guard minors and curb nicotine habit.
Lately, the decrease chamber handed Home Invoice 9007, often known as the “Non-Flamable Nicotine Supply Methods Regulation Act.” The Senate will now examine and deliberate it.
Aambis-OWA party-list Rep. Sharon Garin, principal sponsor of the measure, mentioned in an announcement that the invoice addresses the unintended or potential adversarial penalties of utilizing heated tobacco merchandise (HTPs) and vaping options. Her co-author, AKO Bikol party-list Rep. Alfredo “Pido” Garbin Jr., advised The Manila Occasions that their proposed laws supplies the regulatory framework that will permit grownup people who smoke entry to reputable options to traditional cigarettes and different tobacco merchandise.
We help regulation of all “sin merchandise.” However the Home invoice in query appears to dilute components of Government Order (EO) 106, Collection of 2020. That EO regulates the manufacture, distribution, advertising and sale of unregistered and/or adulterated digital nicotine/non-nicotine supply techniques, HTPs and different novel tobacco merchandise.
If handed as is, the Home invoice lowers the minimal age allowed to buy e-cigarettes and different vaping merchandise to 18 years previous. The present minimal age below EO 106 is 21 years previous.
Whereas the authorized age within the Philippines is eighteen years previous, we help the well being motive for prohibiting the sale of these merchandise to folks youthful than 21. In the US, the place the authorized age can be 18, a federal regulation handed in 2019 raised the tobacco age to 21. Earlier than that, some 19 US states and a minimum of 530 localities throughout America, had raised the tobacco age to 21.
The US-based Marketing campaign for Tobacco Free Youngsters and the Tobacco Free Youngsters Motion Fund reported that, “Nationwide information present that about 95 p.c of grownup people who smoke start smoking earlier than they flip 21. The ages of 18 to 21 are additionally a essential interval when many people who smoke transfer from experimental smoking to common, day by day use. Whereas lower than half of grownup people who smoke (46 p.c) grow to be day by day people who smoke earlier than age 18, 4 out of 5 accomplish that earlier than they flip 21.”
Some teams argue that e-cigarettes and related merchandise provide a safer various to tobacco that can be extra addictive. However scientific research dispute that declare. The American Coronary heart Affiliation, for one, has discovered that folks have been more likely to proceed smoking standard tobacco merchandise together with vaping.
Worse, one other examine we discovered reported that e-cigarettes and related merchandise used flavors, a number of of which included aldehydes. They’re a compound class acknowledged toxicologically to be “main irritants” of the respiratory tract.
Dr. Ulysses Dorotheo, govt director of the Southeast Asia Tobacco Alliance, identified the same menace. In a narrative we revealed, he mentioned e-cigarettes, or digital nicotine supply techniques or digital non-nicotine supply techniques (ENDS or ENNDS), in addition to HTPs, emit poisonous chemical compounds derived from elements corresponding to propylene glycol, vegetable glycerin and nicotine, which is the addictive agent in cigarettes.
Whereas the Home invoice prohibits sure dangerous compounds, it doesn’t rule out utilizing components which will make these merchandise extra interesting to folks, particularly minors, in contrast to EO 106. Many flavors utilized in vaping are confectionary in nature, like chocolate raspberry, cherry cheesecake, cotton sweet, vanilla, grape, apple, espresso and bubble gum, amongst others, in accordance with a examine.
On one other level, the Home invoice will permit e-cigarettes and vaping merchandise to be bought on-line. Whereas the invoice does penalize promoting them to minors, their availability on-line facilitates entry to everybody.
In protection of the Home invoice, Mr. Garbin mentioned the anti-vaping fears mustn’t stop Congress from establishing a regulatory framework. We agree. However a framework already exists in EO 106.
Now that the Home invoice is within the higher chamber, we urge senators to retain the minimal age at 21, amend the availability on dangerous compounds to incorporate flavorings and components, and prohibit on-line sale.
If the proposed laws can’t be as robust or more durable than EO 106, senators ought to vote towards it.