What's the problem with these particular vape products out in the market? For one, they shouldn't be out in the market at all, according to Albay 2nd district Rep. Joey Salceda.
Salceda said such labels on vape products "obviously appeal to young people, in direct contravention of the Vaping Regulation Law” or Republic Act (RA) No. 11900.
"I hope the DTI (Department of Trade and Industry) clarifies this. They took regulation away from the FDA (Food and Drugs Administration). So presumably, they should know what to do,” said the House Committee on Ways and Means chairman.
What DTI needs to clarify, the Bicolano said, is whether or not the 18-month transition period provided by the law for vape sellers “is meant to sunset old stocks or is a free-for-all".
“Flavors proliferated after RA No.11900 amended the Tax Code’s ban on flavors for vape. So, this is obviously not to get old stock out. These new vape products with very youth-enticing labels are clearly trying to stay for good," he said.
“Obviously, if you had old stock of vape prior to RA 11900 that had flavors, you were in violation of the law. The new law still bans flavors that appeal to young people. So, you shouldn’t be able to sell this stuff,” Salceda pointed out.
The Vape Regulation Law bans “the sale of Vaporized Nicotine and Non-Nicotine Products and Novel Tobacco Products that are packaged, labeled, presented, or marketed with flavor descriptors that are proven to unduly appeal particularly to minors".
It defined such descriptors as unduly appealing to minors “if it includes a reference to a fruit, candy brand, dessert, or cartoon character".
Under the law, “manufacturers, distributors, importers and retailers of Vaporized Nicotine and Non-Nicotine Products or their devices, and Novel Tobacco Products shall be given an eighteen (18)-month transitory period from the issuance of the implementing rules and regulations of this Act to comply with the requirements herein".
Salceda says, however, that the transitory provision “should not be a free-for-all where sellers can defy legal logic and just do whatever. This shouldn’t be 18 months of vape anarchy. Who’s regulating what, in the meantime?”