Passage of law governing vape products hailed

July 30, 2022 Ryan Ponce Pacpaco 113 views

SURIGAO del Norte Rep. Robert Ace Barbers, on Saturday hailed the passage of the new law governing all vape products.

“Vaping is a fast growing industry and vape products have been prevalent in the country for years now. They were being sold in various forms and chemical combinations to any Tom, Dick and Harry who has the money and the interest to try them, including minors. Sadly, there was no law regulating them since, like technology, these vape products were new inventions that were not covered by prevailing laws on smoking”, Barbers, chairman of the House committee on dangerous drugs and principal author of House Bill (HB) No. 9007 or Republic Act (RA) No. 11900, said.

“Congress deemed it necessary to craft a law that will regulate the importation, manufacture, sale, packaging, distribution, advertisement and promotion of these products. Like all products that affect the health, the sale is now restricted against minors, meaning below 18 years old. This is standard provision worldwide,” Barbers added.

“We discovered during the congressional hearings that illegal substances such as liquid shabu and cannabis oil were being used as additive to the chemicals. Now with this law, all contraptions are required to be ‘closed’ so that no illegal nor regulated substance may be added to the ‘juice’. With the new law, standards are now set. From labeling to substance used, the government is now able to regulate. As former DTI Secretary Lopez aptly puts it, ‘it is not a choice between public health and tobacco industry interests, but a choice of having a regulated vape and e-cig industry and helping smokers drastically reduce harm to smokers’,” Barbers added.

“It was exhaustively argued that these products are addictive. However, we came to the conclusion based on expert testimonies, records as well as scientific studies that cigarette smoking is the more harmful product. Thus, the vape products are being considered as the less harmful alternative to tobacco smoking. That is all there is to it. Therefore, with the vape products, there will be less deaths and the government will spend less in the treatment of patients which is not the case in tobacco smoking. It is also observed that this is where more developed countries are going in order to reduce the burden on their governments in terms of public health and safety,” Barbers said.