Young people are taking a stand against the so-called “anti-health” vape bill, which will weaken existing law and the executive order against Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS) or Electronic Non-Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENNDS), also known as e-cigarettes or “vapes,” as a government institution dedicated to the well-being of young Filipinos.
In celebration of this year’s World No Tobacco Day on May 31, the Philippine Legislators’ Committee on Population and Development (PLCPD) together with the participants of the Child Rights Network (CRN) Young Leaders Program (YLP) participants, ImagineLaw, VitalStrategies, students from different schools, and youth leaders from various organizations led the call for the president to veto the Vape Bill through an online forum and Twitter party.
If passed into law, the Vape Bill would weaken key provisions already in place, such as those included in Republic Act No. 11467 and Executive Order No. 106, both of which were signed by the President in 2020. The existing regulatory framework for electronic nicotine/non-nicotine delivery systems (ENDS/ENNDS) and heated tobacco products (HTPs), Established by these measures are already adequate and provide enough safeguards for young people.
The proposed law, in particular, lowers the age restriction to access electronic cigarettes or vapes and heated tobacco products (HTPs) from 21 to 18; transfers regulatory powers over these products from the FDA to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI); eliminates the ban on flavors on electronic juices; and allows sponsorships beyond industry associations and trade events.
The online forum was organized to equip the young people in battling fake news about the Vape Bill and the use of vapes. Atty. Sophia San Luisa of ImagineLaw helped in debunking the fake news circulating online about the use of vapes and the Vape Bill.
With less than 30 days remaining in the current administration, the “Vaporized Nicotine and Non-Nicotine Products Regulation Act,” yet to be transmitted by Congress to President Rodrigo Duterte for signature, should be vetoed.
Participants were also encouraged to join the advocacy call with an introduction to the #VetoTheVapeBill social media campaign. This was followed by a Twitter party to call on the president to #VetoTheVapeBill in hopes that the Congress will transmit the bill to the President and for the President to eventually veto it.
This update was prepared by Clarence Benoza from PUP and Manny Boy Dalosa from Rizal Technological University who are currently taking their internship in PLCPD.