According to the Philippine Daily Inquiry, the Philippine Senate approved the proposed regulation of nicotine-containing e-cigarette products on December 16. The Vaporized Nicotine Product Regulation Act (SB 2239) was approved by 19 votes to 2, and two senators abstained.
The Philippine House of Representatives passed a similar bill overwhelmingly in May. The two bills will now be submitted to a conference committee, where they will coordinate, and the two houses will vote on the final version.
Then, the unification bill will be submitted to President Rodrigo Duterte for signing into law or vetoing it.
After the passage of Senate Bill 2239, the Department of Trade and Industry will obtain the power to supervise e-cigarette products. Prior to this, it was due to the supervision of e-cigarette products by the Philippine Food and Drug Administration. At the same time, DTI will formulate product standards and rules for sellers.
According to foreign media Vaping360, part of the reason for this move was anger at the news that the Bloomberg Charity Foundation funded the FDA to influence the agency’s strict restrictions on e-cigarettes.
This legislation prohibits the sale of e-cigarette products to people under the age of 18 (the bill changes the minIimum age for purchasing e-cigarette products from the current 21 to 18), and prohibits those who frequent schools, playgrounds or other minors Sell e-cigarettes within 100 meters of "anywhere".
The bill also prohibits celebrities or social media influencers from approving e-cigarette products.
Entity and online retailers or distributors of e-cigarettes must be registered with the Ministry of Trade and Industry and the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Ralf Rector, the initiator of the bill and the president pro tempore of the Senate, said that switching to nicotine-containing e-cigarette products "is a good public policy."
"Society will reduce the number of deaths and the cost of treating patients. This is the direction that many countries and more advanced economies are moving in," Rector added.
Proponents of e-cigarettes and tobacco harm reduction in the Philippines cheered the passage of the e-cigarette law by the Senate, which is the culmination of years of struggle between consumers and e-cigarette industry advocates. The Philippines is one of the earliest and most enthusiastic use of e-cigarettes in the world.