Palace extends public-smoking ban to vaping products

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Malacañang has formally banned public use of electronic cigarettes and other vapor products, the Department of Health (DoH) said Friday.

The DoH said that in Executive Order 106, dated Feb. 26, President Rodrigo R. Duterte expanded the ban on public smoking from tobacco products to Electronic and Non-Nicotine Delivery System (ENDS/ENNDS).

The new EO amends EO 26, issued May 2017, which originally imposed the ban on public smoking of tobacco products.

Mr. Duterte issued the new EO at the recommendation of the DoH, which found that ENDS/ENNDS, heated tobacco products (HTPs) and regular cigarettes expose users and bystanders to similar levels of risk for respiratory illness, cardiovascular disease, addiction and cancer, among others.

“These regulations were benchmarked against international standards for novel tobacco product regulation which signifies that we are committed to aligning our rules with meaningful public health policies that save millions of lives yearly,” Health Secretary Francisco T. Duque III said in a statement Friday.

The EO also imposes a ban on the manufacture, distribution, marketing or sale of unregistered or adulterated ENDS/ENNDS, HTPs and other tobacco products.

Such products must register with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), while related devices are subject to standards set by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the FDA.

Industry participants are also required to secure a License to Operate from the FDA, and are banned from selling to or buying from persons below 21 years old, regardless of whether the transaction was entered into without knowledge of the other party’s age.

The EO banned advertiseing outside the premises of the point of sale and prescribes health warnings for the packaging.

Industry participants “have to be enrolled in a notification scheme for traceability. Heated tobacco and similar products must undergo pre-market approval and post-market surveillance to ensure compliance with updated product safety and marketing standards,” FDA Director Rolando Enrique D. Domingo said in the statement.

“We are committed to ensure that tobacco marketing is not aimed at children.” — Charmaine A. Tadalan