More than 5,000 people from Davao City and the Island Garden City of Samal recently joined Parents Against Vape (PAV) in its appeal to President Duterte to veto Senate Bill 2239 or Vape Bill 2022.
PAV is an alliance of parents, teachers, public health experts, and community groups based in Davao City and Samal Island.
Worried that the provisions of vape bill will lead to easier access to heated tobacco products (HTPs) or e-cigarette products, PAV—along with more than 5,000 people who signed the petition to veto the vape bill—urged President Duterte to veto the SB 2239.
“As parents, we are alarmed at the provisions of the bill. The Vape Bill 2022 lowers age of access, allows flavors that entice children and the youth, makes them available online, allows the use of cigarettes in public places, and transfers its regulation to the Food and Drug Administration,” said the group in their letter signed by Imelda Esposado-Gocotano, PAV Convenor.
In a statement, the PAV appealed to Duterte to support the strict regulation of vape products.
“We have enough laws and policies that strictly regulate these harmful products which you issued. Thus, we humbly ask you, Mr. President to protect your legacy, maintain these laws and policies, and allow their full implementation. Mr. President, please veto the vape bill 2022 for the full protection of our children and the youth,” the group appealed.
This was echoed by lawyer Benedict Nisperos of HealthJustice Philippines saying, “The vape bill 2022 is a profit-oriented and industry-sponsored bill masquerading as a public health policy.”
“We already have a comprehensive and strict regulatory regime for vape regulation as embodied in Republic Act Nos. 11346 and 11467 and Executive Order No. 106 signed by the President. The Vape Bill 2022 reverses the policy of the Duterte administration against these addictive and toxic products,” Nisperos said.
He stressed that vape bill “reverses” the key policies that will ensure that kids are protected from these harmful and toxic products.
He cited that the age of access restriction is reduced from 21 years old to 18 years old when the higher age restriction is the global best practice.
“The regulatory power is taken away from the Food and Drug Administration and exclusive jurisdiction is given to the Department of Trade and Industry, when these toxic products should be under FDA’s jurisdiction. While FDA has jurisdiction on vape products with health claims, the vape industry can easily market their products as consumer products not as health products. No one will have to undergo FDA regulation. All products escape FDA scrutiny. In short, FDA was creatively sidelined by this industry-favoring bill,” he added.
“The Vape Bill 2022 allows public vaping as a default while EO106 prohibits it as a default. The enumeration where these products can be used in public is more comprehensive in EO 106 than this new bill,” he concluded.
# # #
Published by: CLAUDETH MOCON-CIRIACO