DESPITE the warnings by well being specialists, Congress is poised to move a vaping invoice that threatens to do hurt, notably by making vape and comparable merchandise accessible to youthful folks. Final week, senators authorized on third and last studying, the proposed Vaporized Nicotine Merchandise Regulation Act or Senate Invoice 2239.
Earlier in June, congressmen authorized a counterpart measure, the Noncombustible Nicotine Supply Methods Regulation Act or Home Invoice 9007. If each homes of Congress reconcile and move a consolidated invoice, it goes to Malacañang for last approval.
Earlier than the invoice reaches that time, lawmakers ought to strike it down. The invoice’s proponents are being misleading in claiming that the measure will prohibit minors, which means these 18 years outdated and youthful, from buying vape, e-cigarettes, heated tobacco merchandise and comparable merchandise.
They miss the truth that there’s an present regulation, Government Order (EO) 106, Collection of 2020, that already regulates these so-called sin merchandise. The truth is, the payments coursing by means of the legislative course of are much like EO 106, apart from key safeguards. For one, the EO units the minimal age allowed to buy these merchandise at 21 years outdated.
An individual vaping. TMT FILE PHOTO
In different phrases, payments will decrease the minimal age required to 18 years outdated. If the lawmakers can not retain the current age requirement within the last model of their invoice, they need to vote towards it.
One other worrisome provision of the invoice will permit vape and comparable items to be offered on-line. That may allow minors to entry these sin merchandise. Congressmen argue that sellers will likely be required to ask patrons for proof of their age, which could be simply falsified by anybody aware of how the web works.
Notice that there have been many stories of unlawful medication being offered on-line and delivered by means of the mail. This was corroborated by the Bureau of Customs, whose spokesperson informed this newspaper lately that they had been working with the postal service to intercept occasion medication despatched by means of the mailing system.
If unlawful medication can slip by means of the publish, how can the authorities forestall minors from buying vape and comparable items which might be authorized? Good luck.
In a earlier editorial, we cited the findings of the US-based Marketing campaign for Tobacco Free Youngsters and the Tobacco Free Youngsters Motion Fund. They 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 vital 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) turn into day by day people who smoke earlier than age 18, 4 out of 5 accomplish that earlier than they flip 21.”
One other massive lie informed by supporters of the vaping invoice is that vape and different merchandise like it is going to wean people who smoke off typical cigarettes and different tobacco merchandise. Not true.
As we additionally mentioned earlier than on this house, the scientific proof doesn’t assist that declare. As an illustration, the American Coronary heart Affiliation is amongst a number of organizations warning that persons are more likely to proceed smoking common tobacco merchandise even whereas utilizing vape, e-cigarettes and others like them.
Throughout public hearings carried out by the Senate, about 60 teams got here out to oppose the vaping invoice. The Philippine School of Medication issued a press release, posting this on its social media web site: “The medical neighborhood questions the provisions included within the invoice and underscores the way it additional will increase the chance for the tobacco and vaping trade to widen its market, a transfer that’s regressive and anti-health.”
For his half, Dr. Benito Atienza, president of the Philippine Medical Affiliation, testified that vape and different merchandise like it will be a gateway to substance abuse, notably for youthful folks. However these well being warnings don’t appear to be registering with some lawmakers. Or maybe, they merely ignore them.
Happily, it’s not but too late. Within the plenary and within the bicameral classes, conscientious lawmakers ought to step up and vote towards these payments. And if the measure nonetheless reaches President Rodrigo Duterte’s desk for his signature, we hope that he vetoes it.