Philippines Senate Approves Vape Bill on Second Reading

SB 2239 aims to regulate the importation, manufacture, sale, packaging, distribution, use and consumption of e-cigarettes and HTPs.

“It is good public policy for people smoking to shift to these types [vaporized nicotine] of products. There will be less death and less expense on the part of society in treating patients. And that is the direction where many countries, more developed economies are moving toward,” said bill sponsor Senator Ralph Recto. While in a voice vote with only one objection, the chamber passed its own version of the Vaporized Nicotine Product bill already approved on third and final reading by the House of Representatives.

SB 2239 aims to regulate the importation, manufacture, sale, packaging, distribution, use and consumption of e-cigarettes and heated tobacco products (HTPs) using internationally-accepted standards to protect citizens from the hazards of regulated, unregulated and substandard products.

Recto highlighted that the bill will be of service to public health. “Why? Because, it is less harmful. Can you imagine how many lives would have been saved if instead of smoking, they shifted to these types of products?” he said.

Philippine position at the FCTC COP9 was commended by THR experts worldwide

Meanwhile, last month the position of the Philippine delegation at the FCTC COP9 was commended by tobacco harm reduction experts worldwide. Basing its arguments on sound scientific data, the delegation described vaping and heated tobacco products as “salutary” and “source of good” during the ongoing the 9th Conference of Parties (COP9) to the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC). Moreover, the delegation allegedly praised the tobacco industry for its efforts to self regulate and develop safer nicotine alternatives.

Leading the panel of Philippine officials, Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. called on the World Health Organization “to regain the momentum” of tobacco control and consider “evolving and latest scientific information” in solving the global smoking epidemic.

Sadly however, the Department of Health (DOH) of the Philippines said it wants to disassociate itself from the delegation, and inaccurately accused it of promoting the interests of the tobacco industry. The DOH, said that “there is no good in tobacco” and that “giving misleading information that dilutes the risks of tobacco products and undue recognition to tobacco industries, including those of vapor products and heated tobacco products, is harmful.”

“The statements made by the Philippine delegation negate the very principles of the WHO FCTC and undermine the progress the Philippines has made to curb tobacco use,” the DOH added.

NGOs Exposed in Funding Vape Ban Lobbying in the Philippines

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