A leader of the House of Representatives said on Monday that import ban on vaping products was being enforced in the country through various “trade barriers.”
Albay Rep. Joey Salceda, chairman of the House Committee on Ways and Means, said vapes did not have permits from the Food and Drug Administration, reason the Ninoy Aquino International Airport disallows the entry of vape imports.
“In short, we have an import ban essentially on vape through what you can call trade barriers,” he added.
He said the NAIA was able to prevent the entry of some 1,457 vape imports as these have not secured any permit from the FDA.
Salceda also noted the National Tobacco Administration had stopped giving permits to vape importers to bring their products in the country.
Duterte ealier called for the ban on the use and importation of vapes.
He called the devices “toxic” and said vaping introduced “chemicals” into the user’s body. At the same time, the President raised concern over the dangers of second-hand vapors.
The President also threatened to arrest anyone vaping publicly in a country that already has some of Asia’s toughest anti-smoking rules.
Nevertheless, Salceda said he believes that imposing a ban on the importation of vaping products would ‘push [importers to go] underground.”
“The injuries to human health may go up because that is in the nature that all prohibition does not work and leads to more harm,” he said.
The House earlier approved on third and final reading House Bill 1026, that proposes to increase taxes on alcohol, some tobacco and vaping products.
Salceda maintained the government was expected to raise an estimated P1.4 billion in revenues from the taxes on vapes to be used to fund the implementation of the Universal Health Care Law.