THE Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said it is studying a Department of Health proposal to ban disposable vapor products (vapes).

“I think the issue with disposable vapes is that the device includes the actual refill product in one system, meaning it is not divisible into the actual vape device and the consumable,” DTI Consumer Protection Group Head Amanda F. Nograles said in a briefing.

She said because the devices do not break down into separate components, the consumable part of the disposable device cannot be tested.

“It’s harmful because how will you test the possible effects of pods? How will you test if it is really safe for consumption?” Ms. Nograles said.

Under Republic Act No. 11900 or the Vaporized Nicotine and Non-Nicotine Products Regulation Act, the DTI, in consultation with the Food and Drug Administration, sets the technical standards for safety and quality of vape products.

“Our rule is to subject the products to mandatory product certification and registration starting June. That is why we are preparing the testing facilities for the devices and the consumables (vape pods),” Ms. Nograles said.

In the absence of testing, the DTI currently accommodates “the manufacturer’s submission of testing results from accredited labs.”

Last month, the DTI said additional funding will be needed to upgrade capacity at DTI’s vape certification facilities.

According to the DTI, its facilities are not currently capable of processing HTP consumables, e-liquids for vapor products, and nicotine pouches.

Asked how much more funding is needed Ms. Nograles said: “We requested… less than P170 million.” — Justine Irish D. Tabile