Cannabis-infused vapes seized in Clark alarms Pia Cayetano

Senator Pia Cayetano on Friday, June 7 expressed her alarm over the recent seizure of a parcel containing millions worth of assorted disposable vapes infused with cannabis at the Port of Clark in Pampanga.


This, after Bureau of Customs (BoC) officials seized P4-million worth of “kush” and disposable vapes infused with marijuana as they stepped up operations against illegal drugs and smuggling of contraband.


The BoC said the samples were turned over to the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) for chemical laboratory analysis. PDEA has confirmed the presence of marijuana, which is identified as a dangerous drug under Republic Act No. 9165.


“I am alarmed by the recent seizure of a parcel containing millions worth of assorted cannabis-infused disposable vapes in one of our ports by the BoC exposing a growing dangerous trend in the vaping community,” Cayetano said in a statement.


“As it is, there are already thousands of unknown harmful chemicals found in vapes. The addition of cannabis - which remains an illegal substance in the country - exacerbates these already grave health risks, especially among our youth,” the senator said.


Cayetano recalled that just recently, the country documented its first death due to e-cigarette or vape-associated lung injury (EVALI). It involves a 22-year-old male who was said to have used vapes daily for two years. 


The lawmaker said she can’t help blame the passage of the Vape Law which she said eventually produced dire consequences on the public.


“Sadly, as a dire consequence of the Vape Law, we are now faced with this “vapedemic” that particularly affects young people,” she said.


“This is a direct result of three critical flaws in the law: (1) lowering the age of access from 21 to 18, (2) removing flavor restrictions, and (3) designating the Department of Trade and Industry as the lead regulator, instead of the health-focused Food and Drug Administration (FDA),” added the senator.


“I have opposed this legislation and voted against it, precisely warning about this scenario that is now unfolding before our eyes - young students, some as young as 13-years-old, are falling prey to vapes and e-cigarettes. Now, they are also at risk of getting addicted to cannabis,” she pointed out.


Cayetano said it is imperative for the government to act swiftly “to protect our children and our communities from these emerging threats before it's too late.”


“The alarming crisis of youth vaping and potential addiction to illicit drugs demand our urgent attention,” she said.


“This is a glaring reminder for us to stay vigilant and proactive in safeguarding public health,” Cayetano further stressed.