‘Vape law to protect consumers, businesses’ |…


Vape products are displayed at a shop in Project 3, Quezon City. PHOTO BY JOHN ORVEN VERDOTE

Republic Act 11900 or the Vaporized Nicotine and Non-Nicotine Products Regulation Act is for smokers who want to quit, former congressman Wes Gatchalian said on Monday as more advocacy groups supported the new law.

“We fought for 16 million smokers who wanted to change. With this law, we regulate the products, we regulate the flavors, we regulate the marketing of the products to the youth,” Gatchalian said.

“This is purely for those who want to quit,” he added.

The former lawmaker, one of the main authors of the bill, described RA 1190 “a landmark law.”

He said that the law will also help counter smuggling of e-cigarette products

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“We will be able to protect SMEs that are into this business. We will eliminate smuggling plus we will generate P27 billion in taxes for the government each year,” he said. “If we don’t regulate these products, every kind of devices will proliferate in the market. Without regulating them, there will be no order.”

Gatchalian said that the vape measure was one of the most scrutinized bills in the 18th Congress.

“I refiled the measure because there were a lot of smokers who approached the House Committee on Trade and Industry proposing the regulation of these products,” he said.

As chairman of the panel, he said that he listened to international experts in Geneva and London.

“This bill was thoroughly studied and debated upon. It is one of the bills that lasted 10 hearings. It was also the first time we conducted a hearing in Congress where we invited foreign experts,” he added.

Joey Dulay, president of the Philippine E-cigarette Industry Association (PECIA), said RA 11900 will protect consumers, particularly minors. It forbids the sale, advertising, and promotion of vape products within 100 meters of a school’s perimeter as well as the use of flavor descriptors that unduly appeal to young people.

“Equally important and which is not provided by any other laws is the imposition of penalties with a fine or imprisonment of persons who will sell to minors,” Dulay said.

The vape law, according to physician and head of the advocacy group Quit For Good, Dr. Lorenzo Mata Jr., will effectively combat smoking addiction, which is the world’s leading cause of death.

“This will usher in a drastic decline in smoking prevalence in the Philippines with the potential to save the lives of 16 million Filipino smokers. With the vape law, we now expect to see a decline in smoking-related deaths and diseases,” Mata said.

He said that compared to cigarette smoking, e-cigarettes or vapes and HTPs are better alternatives because these do not produce smoke, thus are less harmful than cigarettes.

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