Public interest law group ImagineLaw on Tuesday slammed the lapsing of the Vaporized Nicotine and Non-Nicotine Products Regulation Act or Vape Bill into law calling it a “betrayal of public health” and a “regrettable development in the face of the President Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos, Jr.’s commitment to build back better”. The bill lapsed into law on July 25.
“The Vape Bill is anti-health and anti-youth,” said ImagineLaw Executive Director Atty. Sophia San Luis. “It dismantles existing measures that protect our health and protect our youth from lifelong addiction,” she added.
According to the law group, the Vape Bill will lower the age of access to e-cigarettes and vaping products from the current 21 years old to 18 years old. It will also allow online sales and transfer regulatory powers from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).
“It is a de-regulation measure that will lead to a vaping epidemic among young people,” said San Luis. “The measure is against the overwhelming medical advice of medical associations and health experts,” she added.
The law group also expressed their hope that the executive inaction that led to the Vape Bill lapsing into law does not mean that the President will neglect tobacco control in the country.
“During a global pandemic that attacks the lungs, building back better means protecting our health through better public health policies. We hope that the President will ensure that the Vape Bill will be implemented with our health in mind, not the commercial interests of those that pushed for its passage,” San Luis said.
ImagineLaw said that it will continue working with other health advocates and the government to push for the strict implementation of the regulatory measures on sales and age restrictions of the Vape Bill and other tobacco control policies.