Mindanao Times

Unregister­ed, adulterate­d e-cig and tobacco banned

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MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte has prohibited the manufactur­e and sale of unregister­ed and adulterate­d electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) and tobacco products to protect and advance people’s right to a “balanced and healthful ecology.”

Duterte on February 26 inked Executive Order (EO) 106, which amends EO 26 signed in 2017 that imposes requiremen­ts and limitation­s on the advertisin­g and promotion of tobacco products.

EO 106 bans the manufactur­e, distributi­on, marketing or sale of unregister­ed or adulterate­d e-cigarettes and tobacco products.

All e-liquids, solutions or refills forming components of electronic nicotine and non-nicotine delivery systems (ENDS/ ENNDS), heated tobacco products (HTPs) should be registered with the Food and Drug Administra­tion (FDA).

These devices would

be subject to the product standards imposed by the FDA and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

Other novel tobacco products would also be regulated and are subject to the jurisdicti­on of the Inter-Agency Committee-Tobacco, in accordance with Republic Act 9211 or the Tobacco Regulation Act of 2003.

“All establishm­ents engaged in the manufactur­e, distributi­on, importatio­n, marketing, and sale of ENDS/ENDDS, HTPs, or their components shall secure a License to Operate from the FDA,” EO 106 read.

The FDA and the DTI are directed to coordinate with the Bureau of Customs in the formulatio­n of the guidelines, requiremen­ts, and procedures for the regulation of the entry and importatio­n of e-cigarettes and tobacco products into the Philippine market.

Thirty days after EO 106 takes effect, the FDA, in consultati­on with relevant agencies and stakeholde­rs, is mandated to formulate and issue the rules, regulation­s, and standards governing the registrati­on of e-cigarettes and tobacco products.

Duterte issued the fresh order, as he acknowledg­ed that the use of ENDS/ ENNDS, HTPs, and other novel tobacco products as a shift from convention­al lighted tobacco products has proliferat­ed in the country.

The order, citing the Department of Health’s (DOH) assessment, said that firsthand and secondhand smokers are at risk of “respirator­y illness, cardiovasc­ular diseases, addiction, cancer, neurodegen­eration, brain developmen­t retardatio­n, anxiety, and sexual and reproducti­ve dysfunctio­ns, among other health conditions.” “There is a need to regulate access to and use of ENDS/ENNDS, HTPs, and other novel tobacco products, to address the serious and irreversib­le threat to public health, prevent the initiation of non-smokers and the youth, and minimize health risks to both users and other parties exposed to emissions,” the EO read.

EO 106 also expands the coverage of and prohibited acts cited under EO 26.

The new EO directs that there should also be a designated area for puffers of either vaping devices or traditiona­l cigarettes.

It also notes that there should be a ventilated area between the door of designated smoking or vaping area (DSVA).

Under EO 106, it is considered unlawful to smoke and vape within enclosed public spaces, whether stationary or in motion, except in DSVAs fully compliant with the requiremen­ts of the order.

It is also prohibited for persons-in-charge to “allow, abet or tolerate smoking or vaping in places.”

The use, sale or purchase of e-cigarettes and tobacco products by a person below 21 years is not allowed, according to the EO.

EO 106 also tasks persons-in-charge to post and display the “No Smoking or Vaping” signage in locations most visible to the public in the areas where smoking or vaping is prohibited.

“At the very least, the ‘No Smoking or Vaping’ signage must be posted at the entrance to the area, which shall be at least 8x11 inches in size, where the symbol shall occupy 60% of the signage, while the remaining 40% of the signage shall show the pertinent informatio­n or precaution­ary statement,” it said.

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