Vaping Laws in the Philippines
When it comes to smoking, rules and regulations are well laid out by the government. Since cigarettes have been around for a long time, there has been enough evidence and cases to base clear-cut laws on its regulations. As times change and more people are looking to quit cigarette smoking, vaping has become more common to the public.
Vaping—or e-cigarettes—may seem like a gray area between cigarette smoking and quitting. Due to their relative novelty, there may not be enough evidence to impose effective regulations surrounding their use, manufacturing, and distribution. That said, government officials have taken it upon themselves to pioneer legislation on vaping in the Philippines.
Here’s a quick breakdown of those regulations.
Philippine Laws on Vaping
In 2017, President Duterte passed Executive Order No. 26 (E.O. 26), establishing smoke-free environments. The Executive Order regulated advertisement, sale, use, and requirements for Designated Smoking Areas (DSA).
By 2020, the President passed Executive Order No. 106 (E.O. 106), amending E.O. 26 to include Electronic Nicotine and Non-Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS/ENNDS) and background heated tobacco products (HTPs)—or more commonly known as vape. E.O. 106 encompasses manufacturing, licensing, importation, marketing, and the sale of vapes.
Congress also formulated the “The Non-Combustible Nicotine Delivery System Regulation Act of 2020” to regulate vapes, with two House joint committees approving the bill.
Vapers should be guided on the provisions of E.O. 106. It’s important to know these regulations not only to avoid going against the law but also to respect other people’s rights—especially in enclosed spaces.
Regulations for Vape Manufacturers
Minimum Age is 21 Years Old
Tobacco products cannot be sold or distributed to minors—those below 18 years old—nor can they purchase the said products. Moreover, ENDS/ENNDS, HTPs, or their components cannot be sold and distributed to or purchased by people below 21 years old.
It is important to take note of this comparison to avoid confusion, especially because sellers do not enjoy the defense of not being knowledgeable of a person’s real age. As a precaution, sellers should ask for a valid government ID that contains the person’s birthdate, photo, and signature.
Must Display Health Warnings
Vapes should have health warnings specified by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). They should also reflect warnings based on the actual ingredients and components of the product.
The FDA has specifications on warnings such as “principal display panels” and fonts for legibility. Other labeling requirements include the name and place of the manufacturer, quantity of the contents, percentage of tobacco, etc.
Advertising of vaping and smoking products is only limited to places where they are sold. Booths, stalls, and displays of these products are not allowed outside the premises of places where they are sold. This also applies to adult-only facilities.
Like selling and distributing, advertising in schools, public playgrounds, and other centers for youth are not allowed. There should be no form of advertising materials in these areas and within 100 meters from their premises.
Standards for Specific Features
Experts find that flavors and colors found in vape liquids make the product appealing to teenagers. Hence, E.O. 106 aims to reduce vaping “attractiveness” towards youth by prohibiting flavors and additives that are “appealing or enticing” to people below 21 years old.
Moreover, vape products should not contain tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) or other cannabinoids. The violation of this prohibition is punishable by the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.
Regulations for Vape Users
Where are you allowed to vape?
In public places, the Designated Smoking/Vaping Area (DSVA) is the only place where you are allowed to vape. Establishments—except centers of youth, elevators and stairwells, medical centers, and food preparation areas—are required to set up a DSVA. The DSVA can be in an open space or a separate area with proper ventilation.
The DSVA also has specific regulations regarding their ventilation, spaces, sizes, and features. For example, it should have an apparent Smoking/Vaping Area signage coupled with health warnings and prohibition against the entry of minors.
Where aren’t you allowed to vape?
People are prohibited from vaping in enclosed public areas. For example, people can’t smoke inside the mall, the dining area of a restaurant, or a function hall.
Smoking in public conveyances is not allowed as well, whether stationary or in motion. Nobody can vape in jeepneys, buses, trains, etc. Public conveyances also include elevators and the like.
These prohibitions are in place to protect non-smokers from the possible effects of secondhand smoke. It also promotes clean air, catering to the right of the people to a healthy environment.
Know the ins and outs of vaping laws
Vaping can potentially pose health risks, especially when using it at an early age. As of now, only additives are banned in vaping products, but there could be further bans on these products as studies and evidence progress in the future.
Knowing the laws regarding vaping should help smokers avoid transgressions. Manufacturers should also follow regulations for the distribution and sale of vapes. For vapers and smokers, remember to smoke in DSVAs, and these products should be kept away from people under 21 years old.And you’re all set! It’s always great to stay informed. Check out the official RELX store to get the best deals on RELX vapes and pods.