Senate OKs bill regulating vape products on 3rd reading

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, December 16) — Voting 19-2-2, the Senate on Thursday approved on final reading a proposed measure seeking to regulate vaporized nicotine and non-nicotine products.

Senate Bill No. 2239 or Vaporized Nicotine Products Regulation Act proposes to restrict access to vaporized nicotine products or vapes to 18 years old and above.

It lowers the minimum age for e-cigarette use from 21 as provided under the excise tax law.

The bill obliges retailers to verify the age of buyers by presenting any valid ID indicating the age and birth date.

Meanwhile, only sellers or distributors registered with the Department of Trade and Industry or the Securities and Exchange Commission are allowed to sell vape products online.

It also seeks to prohibit the sale of vapes within 100 meters from any point of the perimeter of a school, playground, or other facilities for minors.

Advertisements are permitted provided that they will not feature a celebrity or a social media influencer.

Moreover, they should not undermine quit-smoking messages and should not encourage non-tobacco or non-nicotine users to use vape.

If enacted into law, the Department of Health and the Department of Social Welfare and Development shall provide appropriate intervention programs for minors caught selling, buying, or using vapes.

Meanwhile, on the first offense, any person or business establishment selling or distributing vape products to minors shall face P10,000 fine or an imprisonment of up to 30 days.

For succeeding offenses, both penalties shall apply in addition to revocation of business licenses or permits.