DTI getting ready for Vape Law IRR consultation

Published August 10, 2022, 5:03 PM

by Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is preparing the draft Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of the Vaporized Nicotine Products Regulation Act or Vape Regulation law.

DTI Undersecretary for Consumer Protection Group Ruth Castelo said at the Laging Handa Public Briefing that since the DTI has been designated as the implementing government agency, they will have to follow the law.

“Anytime soon or in a couple of days, we can start with consultation with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and then public consultation,” said Castelo noting that they have a deadline to meet under the law to come up with the IRR. The law, which lapsed on July 25, 2022, directs DTI to come up with the IRR three months from its effectivity.

She said that DTI will lead in terms of testing the devices for the new tobacco alternative products. In fact, Castelo said that DTI testing equipment have been readied since 2021 yet.

But the FDA will lead or approve certifications when it comes to chemicals and health claims of the products.

The Vape law regulates the importation, manufacture, sale, packaging, distribution, use and communication of vaporized nicotine and non-nicotine products, as well as novel tobacco products.

Under the law, manufacturers are given three months to notify the DTI prior to placing Vaporized 32 Nicotine Products in the market.

Products that are already in-market are given four months to register their products with the DTI and submit information demonstrating compliance with product standards and assessment requirements.

The law also prescribed penalties to manufacturers, importers, distributors, and sellers for non-compliance from fines to business licenses revocation. Non-compiiant Vaporized Nicotine Products found in the market for sale or distribution shall be subject to confiscation.

The bill was strongly opposed by the Department of Health and health experts, but supported by vape consumers as it would generate billions in taxes for the government.

The DTI in its position paper during the measure’s deliberation supported the bill, stressing that regulation over the alternative tobacco products is better than its total ban.

DTI allayed apprehensions even on the most contentious age issue as the law allows 18 year olds in the purchase, sale and use of vape products. DTI even assured the Department of Health of its important role in the crafting of the IRR and control of the alternative tobacco products. DTI also defended the economic side of the measure.