AKO Bicol Partylist Representative Rodel Batocabe is urging the House Committee on Health to fast track the approval of House Bill 3330 or the “Vaporized Nicotine Product Regulation Act”. The enactment of the proposed legislative measure would police the use, sale, packaging, distribution, and advertisements of Vaporized Nicotine Products. This new class of products deliver nicotine to the user without combustion.
This proposal is timely given the recent pronouncement of the Department of Health to adopt the recommendation of the World Health Organization to disallow the use of vaporized nicotine products in indoor spaces. “We are seeking to enact the Vape Regulation Bill in order to guarantee the safety of our Filipino consumers. This will provide a clear-cut policy in addressing the concerns and issues concerning the use of e-cigarettes,” Batocabe said.
“Since the medical and scientific community have yet to arrive at a consensus regarding the safety of e-cigarettes, in the absence of the Philippine Food and Drug Administration’s validation, we should not assume that these products have the absolute propensity as reduced risk nicotine-delivery systems,” Batocabe added. “Groups such as the Public Health England and the British Lung Foundation have emphasized the importance of creating a separate regulation for vaporized nicotine products from cigarettes and other tobacco products.
A specialist in epidemiology and public health at the University College of London expressed that e-cigarettes are safer and less toxic than conventional tobacco cigarettes based on a study involving people who have switched to e-cigarettes having lower levels of toxins in their saliva and urine compared to the group who have continued to smoke tobacco products. The regulation of the vaping industry would guarantee the quality and safety of the products available for use in the market. Products will be required to be registered at the Department of Trade and Industry three months prior to its release in the market,” Batocabe said. Vaporized Nicotine Products will be required to contain instructions for its proper handling, use, and maintenance.
Vaporized Nicotine Products will contain the health warning, ‘This product may damage your health and is addictive.’ Furthermore, minors will not be allowed to purchase and use these products as the sale and distribution of these products to anyone below 18 years old is strictly prohibited under the proposed law. Purchasing Vaporized Nicotine Products from a minor is also forbidden as part of the stringent regulation of e-cigarettes. Moreover, Vaporized Nicotine Products are not allowed to be advertised in television, radio, and cinema. They may be allowed in points-of-sale via direct marketing and on the internet as long as the restrictions prescribed by the law are followed.