Vape bill lapses into law

The contentious vape bill that became law on Monday without president Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s veto or signature allows anyone as young as 18 to legally use e- and other vaping devices.

Executive Secretary Victor Rodriguez stated in a letter to the Senate and the House of Representatives that the Vaporized Nicotine and Non-Nicotine Products Regulation Act, which governs the sale, promotion, and packaging of vaping products and reduces the legal age of purchase or use from 21 to 18, became effective on July 25.

ADVERTISEMENT

If the president does not sign or veto a measure within 30 days of receiving it, it automatically becomes law.

The new law, which was approved by the Senate and the House of the previous Congress in January, is thought to have significant health and trade ramifications in the Philippines, where the Department of Health estimates that 16.6 million Filipinos smoke tobacco.

The law essentially broadens the market for e- to more adolescents in their senior year of high school. In the 18 to 20 age range during the academic year 2020–2021, around 1.1 million students were enrolled, according to data from the Department of Education (DepEd).

ADVERTISEMENT

Vape bill lapses into law

According to the Global Youth Tobacco Survey’s 2019 data sheet in the Philippines, 14.1% of Filipino students between the ages of 13 and 15 “currently used electronic cigarettes.” Girls made up 7.5 percent of the total, while boys made up 20.9 percent.

On Tuesday, the vape bill’s detractors and supporters were shocked by Marcos’ decision to allow it to become law without his signature.

The president “did not see anything wrong with it, but he’s also not in favor,” according to Sen. Juan Edgardo Angara, chair of the Senate budget committee and a supporter of the vaping legislation.

ADVERTISEMENT

However, Sen. Pia Cayetano, a champion for public health and ardent opponent of the measure, laid much of the blame at the feet of her colleagues from the previous government.

“To say that I am disappointed in the 18th Congress that passed the bill, and with the president for not vetoing it, will not do justice to the millions of lives that will be put in harm’s way because of the vape law,” she said.

Visit our Facebook page for more  updates.