Thursday, June 20, 2024

Pia hits ‘attractive’ designs, flavors of vape products aimed at youth

In a privilege speech delivered on Monday, Feb. 6, Sen. Pia Cayetano expressed alarm over the “attractive” designs and flavors of e-cigarette and vape products targeting the youth as the primary market.

Sen. Pia Cayetano delivering her privilege speech

Cayetano said the passage of the Vape Law (Republic Act 11900 or the Vaporized Nicotine and Non-Nicotine Products Regulation Act) overturned the protective measures placed under the 2020 Sin Tax Reform Act.

“We can’t close our eyes to the fact that these products which we have legalized, weakened the regulation and is now out there. So, I will continue to bring this to the body’s attention so that we can do our little part in ensuring that it does not do further damage to the youth and to the Filipino people,” she said.

According to Cayetano, there are 2.7 million Filipino users of e-cigarette and vaping devices and based on the report, it appears to be more harmful than cigarette smoking.

In 2020, there are 2,807 cases of e-cigarette and vaping use associated to lung injury and confirmed 68 deaths.

Sen. Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III, on the other hand, called for the full implementation of the Vape Law to halt the sale of vape products that have flavor descriptors presumed to appeal to minors, such as references to fruit, candy or dessert brands, and cartoon characters.

Pimentel gave his support to Cayetano, who, in her privilege speech, exposed the sale of vape products that have designs that violate RA 11900.

“We have to find out the real situation on the ground. How bad is it? How unregulated is the vaping industry in spite of the law?” Pimentel asked.

The lawmaker also called for further investigations on what actions relevant government agencies have done to help e-cigarette businesses properly implement the Vape Law.

“It’s time to hold accountable the government agency that we authorized or gave power to regulate the vaping industry,” Pimentel added.

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