THE Department of Health (DoH) will release next month details of its plan to jointly regulate the e-cigarette industry with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), after it issued an order in June that called for such producers to be licensed.

In an interview with BusinessWorld, Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Director IV Ana Trinidad F. Rivera said that the DTI has prepared its own policies for the upcoming guidelines.

“The implementation (of the guidelines) for the device will be joint with DoH and DTI,” said Ms. Rivera.

DoH Administrative Order (AO) 2019-0007 issued in June required all makers, sellers and distributors involved in the Electronic Nicotine and Non-nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS/ENNDS) industry to obtain a license to operate (LTO) from the FDA. The AO also called for the registration of END/ENNDS products and regulation of labeling and packaging.

DoH Undersecretary Rolando Enrique D. Domingo told BusinessWorld previously that the department planned to regulate e-cigarettes and vape devices after reports of explosions of these devices, injuring users these devices caused explosions and injuries to users.

On the other hand, he said that the release on the list of permitted flavors for E-Liquids is still being finalized. Registration of these products will begin by next month.

“We’re finalizing (it) so by next month, we’re going to start registration,” he told BusinessWorld.

The Health Undersecretary, who also is the FDA Officer-in-Charge, said in an earlier report that the FDA will begin taking applications for LTOs in December.

Ms. Rivera said the FDA is set to meet with the World Health Organization (WHO) this week regarding the flavors of e-liquids that will be permissible but noted that flavors targeting young customers will be prohibited, as underlined in the AO

“Next week we will be having a meeting with the WHO regarding the flavors. (There are) flavors that have health effects,” she said, adding that there is possibility that the list of permitted flavors will be more than the mint and tobacco as raised by the DoH and Department of Finance (DoF).

She added that apart from releasing a memorandum on the permitted flavors of e-liquids, the FDA “will be coming out with separate memos for the labels, for the license (LTO), and for the (product) registration.” — Gillian M. Cortez