By Argyll Cyrus Geducos
President Duterte has issued an executive order expanding his nationwide smoking ban to cover the use of vapes, electronic cigarettes, and other tobacco products in enclosed public spaces.
In Executive Order (EO) No. 106, the President has prohibited the manufacture, distribution, marketing, or sale of unregistered or adulterated Electronic Nicotine and Non-Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS/ENNDS), its components such as devices, e-liquids, solutions or refills, heated tobacco products (HTPs), and other tobacco products.
All e-liquids, solutions, or refills forming components of ENDS/ENNDS or HTPs shall now be registered with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and shall be regulated by the Inter-Agency Committee-Tobacco (IAC-T). Manufacturers, distributors, and sellers of the said products are also required to secure a license to operate from the FDA.
The FDA and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) are directed to coordinate with the Bureau of Customs (BOC) to combat the entry and importation of unregistered or adulterated ENDS/ENNDS, HTPs, and its components.
Designated smoking/vaping areas
President Duterte’s new order is an expansion of the coverage of EO No. 26, the Nationwide Smoking Ban. Under the new order, smoking or vaping within enclosed public places and public conveyances, whether stationery or in motion, except in designated smoking/vaping areas (DSVAs) is prohibited.
The DSVAs should not have openings that will allow air to escape to the smoke/vape-free areas except for the single door equipped with an automatic door closer unless the area is not an open space.
The areas shall not be located in or within 10 meters from entrances, exits, or any place where people pass or congregate, or in front of air intake ducts.
Minors shall not be allowed inside the DSVA and Buffer Zones or areas intended to keep the public from inhaling second-hand smoke.
The DSVAs should also have signage declaring it a smoking/vaping area; graphic health warnings on the effects of using tobacco products, ENDS/ENNDS, and HTPs; and a sign prohibiting the entry of minors.
Other prohibited acts
The new EO also prohibits the sale, distribution, or purchase of tobacco products to or from minors; or ENDS/ENNDS, HTPs, and their components to or from persons below 21 years old.
“It shall not be a defense for the person selling, distributing or purchasing that he/she did not know or was not aware of the real age of the person he/she was transacting with. Neither shall it be a defense that he/she did not know nor had any reason to believe that the cigarette or any other tobacco product, ENDS/ENNDS, HTPs, or their components, was for the consumption of the person who received it,” the EO read.
READ: EO106 which prohibits the manufacture, distrinution, marketing, and sale od unregistered and/or adulterated electronic nicotine/non-nicotine delivery systems, heated tobacco products, and other novel tobacco products. (1/3) @manilabulletin pic.twitter.com/N9xf2mvBVw
— Argyll Cyrus ✪ (@argyllcyrus_MB) February 28, 2020
Ordering or compelling the use, lighting up, purchase, sale, distribution, delivery, advertisement, or promotion of tobacco products by a minor, or of ENDS/ENNDS, HTPs, or their components by those below 21 years old are also prohibited.
It is also not allowed to advertise or promote the said products in areas where their sale and distribution are prohibited. Placing stalls, booths, and other displays promoting the products outside the premises of point-of-sale locations or adult-only facilities is likewise unlawful.
It is now also against the law to not mark the containers and packages of ENDS/ENNDS, HTPs and its components with the appropriate health warnings, pursuant to the content, format, and specifications designated by the FDA, based on the actual ingredients or components of the product.
Incorporating e-liquids, solutions, and refills with flavors and additives that are proven or suspected to be appealing or enticing to persons under 21 years old, toxic, harmful, addictive, or sensitizing is prohibited.
Adding Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) or cannabinoid compounds in liquids used in ENDS/ENNDS and HTPs is likewise unlawful as it violates the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.
President Duterte issued the EO after announcing that he would be implementing a vaping ban because vape products supposedly contain nicotine and other unknown chemicals, and are not regulated by the country’s FDA.
In an interview with CNN Philippines late last year, Duterte said he refused to be remembered as a president who did nothing to help people with health issues.
The President’s campaign against vaping came after reports that a 16-year-old girl from Central Visayas suffered lung injury due to e-cigarettes.