Philippine House Committees Endorse Vapor Rules

In the Philippines, three committees of the House of Representatives have endorsed to the plenary the approval of a measure that will regulate all vapor products, whether they contain nicotine or not. The rule will also apply to heated tobacco products (HTPs).

House Committees on Trade and Industry, on Health and on Appropriations has submitted Committee Report 873 for the proposed Non-Combustible Nicotine Delivery Systems Regulation Act (House Bill 9007), according to politics.com.ph. The rule applies to electronic nicotine- and non-nicotine-delivery systems (ENDS/ENNDS).

The measure provides that the allowable minimum wage to purchase, sale and use ENDS/ENNDS or HTPs shall be 18 years old, although there is debate to raise that age to 21 or even 25. The seller would also be required to verify the age of the buyer by requiring any valid government-issued identification card bearing the picture, age or date of birth.

“It shall not be a defense for the person selling or distributing that oneself did not know or was not aware of the real age of the purchaser. Neither shall it be a defense that oneself did not know nor had any reason to believe that the product was for the consumption of a person below 18 years old,” the committee report read.

The use of ENDS/ENNDs or HTPs will be banned in all enclosed public places except in designated vaping areas if passed, and the use of product will be prohibited in schools, hospitals, government offices and facilities intended particularly for minors. The bill prohibits the sale or distribution of ENDS/ENNDS or HTPs within 100 meters from a school, playground or other facility frequented by minors.

It also prohibits manufacturers of ENDS/ENNDS or HTPs from sponsoring any sport, concert, cultural or art event, as well as individual and team athletes or performers where such sponsorship shall require or involve the advertisement or promotion of the products.

Violators of the proposed law will be fined P500,000 for the first offense and P750,000 for the second offense. On the third offense, a fine of P1 million and/or imprisonment of not more than six years. The business permit and licenses of the company will also be revoked or cancelled.

If the offender is a foreign national, they will be deported only after serving their sentence.