PH Customs to block entry of vape products

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, November 22) — The Bureau of Customs has ordered to block the entry of vaping products, such as e-cigarettes and e-liquids, following the verbal order of President Rodrigo Duterte to ban their importation in the country.

Customs Assistant Commissioner Jet Maronilla on Friday said they have coordinated with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) before issuing the directive to their Intelligence and Enforcement units.

"All importation of vape products and its related items shall immediately be subject to seizure by the Bureau of Customs," he said in a statement.

He said Customs' examiners and anti-smuggling units are focused on discovering the schemes that may be used to illegally smuggle vape products in the country.

Duterte on Tuesday issued the verbal order to ban the use and importation of vapes, following the first confirmed report of electronic cigarette or vaping-associated lung injury (EVALI) in the country. He said he is banning vapes because it is “toxic” and has not been approved by the FDA.

The President also ordered the police to "arrest" all those caught using their e-cigarettes in public. In Central Visayas, no arrests were made, but erring vapers were issued receipts for their confiscated items.