MANILA - Hours before President Rodrigo Duterte announced his decision to ban the use of vaping devices in a news conference, his ally Sen. Francis Tolentino filed a measure similar to the chief executive’s position.
Tolentino on Tuesday filed Senate Bill No. 1183, which seeks a total ban on electronic cigarettes.
The bill seeks to "prohibit the use, sale, manufacture, distribution, trade, importation, and marketing of electronic nicotine or electronic non-nicotine delivery systems (ENDS/ENNDS) in the Philippines," covering items such as e-cigarettes, heat-not-burn devices, vape, e-sheesha, e-nicotine flavored hookah as well as solutions or e-liquids for devices with or without a nicotine.
Should it become a law, violators will be fined an amount from P50,000 but not more than P1 million.
The measure also gives the president the authority to lift the prohibition, provided that the decision was based on the study and recommendation of the Department of Health.
“Upon the lifting of the prohibition, ENDS/ENNDS shall be subject to the same regulations provided for in Republic Act No. 9211, otherwise known as the tobacco regulation act of 2003. ENDS/ENNDS also be subject to the jurisdiction of the food and drug administration under a category the latter deems appropriation,” the bill stated.
Duterte on Tuesday night said he is banning the use of vaping devices in public, as well as the importation of such devices.
While Duterte has yet to issue an executive order to back his verbal ban on vaping, the Philippine National Police on Wednesday already began its crackdown on users of e-cigarettes and vaping devices.
“I do not want anyone in the Philippines vaping. The executive order will come,” Duterte earlier said.
The Department of Health (DOH) said it received the report on a recorded case of electronic cigarette or vaping-associated lung injury (EVALI) from the Central Visayas.
It said the patient is a 16-year-old girl who had been smoking both regular cigarettes and e-cigarettes for 6 months.