THE Bureau of Customs (BoC) has ordered ports nationwide to block imported vapor products after President Rodrigo R. Duterte outlawed their use.
“All importation of vape products and related items shall immediately be subject to seizure by the Bureau of Customs,” it said in a statement on Thursday.
The bureau said it had consulted other regulatory agencies including the Food and Drug Administration before it issued the order.
The import ban covers only vape products, Customs spokesman Jet Maronilla said in a mobile-phone message. “All tobacco-based products like heated cigarettes are technically not included,” he added.
Mr. Duterte on Tuesday ordered law enforcers to arrest anyone vaping in public, and outlawed vape imports after Health authorities confirmed the first vape-related lung injury in the country.
The president said vaping was contrary to public health.
The Health department earlier said the Office of the President was finalizing an executive order for the ban.
Vaping groups have said the ban would lead to vapers going back to smoking cigarettes. They also said smokers should be given alternatives including e-cigarettes and heated tobacco. — Beatrice M. Laforga