NEW DELHI, INDIA- Self-regulation, adherence to high manufacturing standards and quality of imported products are key factors in the success of the e-cigarette industry in the Philippines, representatives of the Philippine vaping community told their counterparts here.
Edward Gatchalian, President of Philippine E-liquids Manufacturers Association (PEMA) shared their Philippine experience during a business-to-business meeting of manufacturers of e-cigarettes, liquids, equipment, battery and accessories last September 9 where he emphasized the need to raise public awareness of their issues and work with government to secure reasonable regulation. PEMA is an active member of the umbrella Philippine E-cigarette Industry Association (PECIA)
“Elevating the level of discourse on e-cigarettes by presenting scientific evidence from independent studies and experts is crucial to our survival. We believe that disseminating accurate and scientifically vetted evidence is the only answer to the lies, fear mongering and propaganda churned out by groups opposed to e-cigarettes. Policymakers, public health experts and the general public, particularly smokers, need to know about the growing body of scientific evidence showing e-cigarettes are overwhelmingly less harmful than conventional cigarettes and can help smokers quit,” said Gatchalian.
Gatchalian said smokers should be able to have the option to choose products that are potentially less harmful and government regulation should be able to encourage this.
An expert independent evidence review by Public Health England concluded that e-cigarettes are around 95 percent less harmful than smoking and that e-cigarettes may be contributing to falling smoking rates among adults and young people in the UK.
The Public Health England review found that almost all of the 2.6 million adults using e-cigarettes in Great Britain are current or ex-smokers, most of whom are using the devices to help them quit smoking or to prevent them going back to cigarettes. It also provides reassurance that very few adults and young people who have never smoked are becoming regular e-cigarette users (less than 1% in each group). Public Health England is an operationally autonomous executive agency of the UK Department of Health.
In another interview, Joey Dulay, PECIA president, said that the Philippines currently has no clear regulatory guidelines for e-cigarettes which is why their organization polices its own ranks by conducting random checks to ensure that all its members strictly observe its Code of Conduct at all times, particularly in marketing or selling e-cigarette products only to adults.
With 80 members accounting for more than 50 percent of e-cigarettes sold in the Philippines, PECIA aims to set forth best practice standards and serve as the self-regulatory body of the e-cigarette industry. Members are encouraged to be responsible entrepreneurs and citizens by observing ethical business practices and ensuring the proper use of e-cigarettes as a lifestyle choice among adults looking for a less harmful alternative to conventional cigarettes.
PECIA assists the government in screening new e-cigarette entrepreneurs and issues an endorsement to those that meet the association’s standards, which is the basis for the government to issue e-cigarette business proprietors with a special license to operate.
PECIA engages with the government at the local and national levels in drafting legislation affecting the e-cigarette industry. PECIA members are legitimate entrepreneurs whose businesses are registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and the local government.