President Rodrigo Duterte has issued an executive order banning the use of vapes in public places, and three months after he verbally ordered the arrest of those who use e-cigarettes
Duterte on Feb. 26 signed Executive Order 106, which also prohibits the manufacture, distribution, marketing and sale of unregistered e-cigarette products in a bid to advance the people’s right to a “balanced and healthful ecology.”
The new order expands the coverage of prohibited acts cited under EO 26, which he issued in 2017 and which directs establishments to have a designated area for those who would use vaping devices or traditional cigarettes.
Under EO 106, it is considered unlawful to smoke and vape within enclosed public spaces, whether stationary or in motion, unless the designated smoking or vaping area is fully compliant with the requirements of the order.
It also notes that there should be a ventilated area between the door of designated smoking or vaping areas to protect non-smokers from inhaling second-hand smoke.
The new EO also prohibits people-in-charge to “allow, abet or tolerate smoking or vaping in places.”
The order also requires all e-liquids, solutions or refills forming components of vapes or heated tobacco products to register with the Food and Drug Administration.
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All devices forming components of these products should also be subjected to the product standards imposed by the Department of Trade and Industry and the FDA.
The FDA and the Trade department are directed to coordinate with the Bureau of Customs in the formulation of the guidelines, requirements, and procedures for the regulation of the entry and importation of e-cigarettes and tobacco products into the Philippine market.
The use, sale or purchase of e-cigarettes and tobacco products by a person below 21 years is not allowed, according to the EO.
A “clear and conspicuous” statement which bars the sale, advertisement and promotion of e-cigarettes and tobacco products should also be displayed in schools, public playgrounds, youth hostels and recreational facilities for minors.
Local government units are encouraged to develop, promote and implement their respective Local Smoking Cessation Program, as well as to encourage the participation of public and private facilities.
EO 106 takes effect 15 days after its publication in a newspaper of general circulation.
The FDA will issue within 30 days from the effectivity of the EO a set of rules, regulations, and standards governing the registration of vape products and their components, and the issuance of License to Operate to all establishments engaged in the manufacture, sale, distribution, and importation of those products.
In November last year, Duterte verbally banned the use and importation of e-cigarettes, adding that he would arrest those caught vaping in public despite the absence of a written document stating his order.
“I will order law enactment to arrest anybody vaping in public,” Duterte told reporters at the time.
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