Solon proposes law banning e-cigarettes or vapes

Marje Pelayo   •   November 19, 2019   •   152

Courtesy : Pexels

MANILA, Philippines – A lawmaker is pushing for a ban on the use of e-cigarettes known as vapes in all public places across the country.

Filed by Bagong Henerasyon Partylist Rep. Bernadette Herrera-Dy, House Bill 5510 prohibits the use of vapes in public areas such as schools and universities, public elevators and staircases, gas stations, oil, and chemical storages and laboratories.

It also pushes to ban vaping in hospital premises and health clinics, train and bus terminals, airports and seaports, restaurants and conference halls.

The proposed measure is also pushing on limiting the sales of vapor products even in online sales platforms.

Violators would have to pay from P1,000 to P500,000 pesos in penalty plus jail term once the bill is enacted into law.

Herrera-Dy filed the proposed measure following confirmation of the first patient acquiring vape-related ailment in the country. MNP (details from Vincent Arboleda)

Duterte orders ban on vapes, EO to follow

Marje Pelayo   •   November 20, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered a ban on sale, importation and use of electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) or vapes.

Furthermore, the Chief Executive ordered law enforcement agencies to arrest anyone who would be caught vaping in all public places across the country.

The President is convinced that vaping poses more harm to people than smoking ordinary cigarettes.

“Vaping is also dangerous and I am banning it, and if you are smoking now, you will be arrested,” he announced during the press briefing on Tuesday (November 19) in Malacañang.

“I am banning the importation. Customs, you listen to it. I’m banning it altogether,” he added.

The President said he will issue an executive order to formalize his directive.

The Chief Executive’s announcement came after a recent report of the first e-cigarette vaping-associated lung injury (e-VALI) in the country.

“I have that urgent power to do it, so I’m ordering it,” he said.

“The EO will follow. I’m banning it because it’s contrary to public safety,” the President concluded. – MNP (with details from Rosalie Coz)

California sues Juul, largest manufacturer of e-cigarettes

Robie de Guzman   •   November 20, 2019

A sign advertises Juul pods, used for vaping in e-cigarettes, outside of a store in New York, New York, USA, 13 September 2019. The United States’ Food and Drug Administration announced this week a developing plan that is expected to be introduced in the coming weeks that would ban the sale of flavored e-cigarettes and nicotine pods. EPA-EFE/JUSTIN LANE

San Francisco – The state of California on Monday filed a lawsuit against Juul Labs Inc., the largest US manufacturer of e-cigarettes, alleging that the firm targeted young people and teenagers with its advertising despite the fact that sales of its products are prohibited to people under age 21.

“We’ve worked too hard, committed our hard-earned money for too long combating harmful tobacco use to stand idly by as we now lose Californians to vaping and nicotine addiction,” state Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra said at a news conference in Los Angeles.

“Juul adopted the tobacco industry’s infamous playbook, employing advertisements that had no regard for public health and searching out vulnerable targets,” he added.

The complaint was presented jointly by the California state government, the city and county of Los Angeles, and in it the plaintiffs claim that, besides targeting young people with its advertising, the firm did not warn the public about the fact that its products expose users to potentially dangerous chemicals and to the risk of cancer, birth defects and reproductive damage.

In addition, according to the plaintiffs, Juul did not verify the age of consumers of its products and violated privacy laws of minors by saving their e-mail addresses and using them to send those people more ads.

Specifically, the lawsuit says that the e-cigarette manufacturer publicized its mango, mint, cream and pepper flavors, which are especially popular among teens.

E-cigarettes are facing increasing restrictions in the US, with prohibitions on the local and state level and the threat by President Donald Trump to prohibit marketing the products on the national level.

Last week, the US government’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published a report in which it raised to 42 the death toll for people who have died from lung damage caused by consumption of electronic cigarettes, along with more than 2,000 cases of non-lethal lung damage.

Vaping among teens has been steadily increasing despite efforts by health officials to limit it, with more than 25 percent of US high school students using e-cigarettes, according to recent figures from the CDC. EFE-EPA

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Senate eyes sin tax higher than House version

Maris Federez   •   November 13, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The Senate Committee on Ways and Means on Monday said that they are targeting to pass a bill that will press for sin taxes which are much higher than that of the House version.

This after President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday (November 12) certified Senate Bill 1074 that seeks to impose higher taxes on alcohol and e-cigarettes including heated tobacco products and vapes.

The higher sin tax aims to support the implementation of the Universal Health Care Act.

Committee chairperson, Sen. Pia Cayetano, said the higher sin tax will ensure that there will be sufficient funds for health services for all Filipinos and lesser consumption of the said sin products.

“I am pushing for a version that recommends higher tax rates than those approved by the House of Representatives for two reasons: first, it will provide proper funding for the delivery of health services to all Filipinos; and second, it will effectively reduce the consumption of sin products,” Cayetano said

In the House version, an estimated P47.9-billion tax will be collected and be allocated to the Universal Health Care program.

A total of P356.9-billion will be allotted for the program in the next five years. (with details from Nel Maribojoc) /mbmf

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