Articles worth reading

WHO says it is too early to reinstate face shield policy 

account_balanceMetro Manila access_time5 days ago

Despite the threat posed by the Omicron Covid-19 variant, the World Health Organization (WHO) on Tuesday said "it is still premature to reintroduce the face shields" with the "significant public discontent" on its mandatory use, a...

Photo courtesy of: K R De Asis/MPIO

Manila recognizes medical workers on Bonifacio Day 

account_balanceManila access_time5 days ago

The city government of Manila paid tribute to medical workers during the celebration of Andres Bonifacio’s 158th birth anniversary at Liwasang Bonifacio on Tuesday, according to a report by Philippine News Agency. The city again called me...

LGUs have power over mandatory vaccination

account_balanceMetro Manila access_time5 days ago

Local government units (LGUs) have the authority to impose mandatory inoculation against Covid-19 and eliminate hesitancy and brand preference, according to a report by Philippine News Agency. Department of the Interior and Local Government (DI...

Metro News

Clarisse Virgino, CAPHRAs Philippine representative and Peter Paul Dator, President of Vapers PH, are pleased the countrys legislators have listened and are acting.

Asian consumer group welcomes approval of ‘historic’ vaping bill 

account_balanceMetro News account_circleNoah James chat_bubble_outline0 Comments

A bill that regulates the manufacture, use, sale, distribution, and promotion of vaping, as well as heated tobacco products (HTPs) has passed its third and final reading in the House of Representatives. Following its third reading, it will go to the Senate. According to consumer advocates, barring any undue outside influence, there the bill will be approved into law.

Known as House Bill 9007, the proposed ‘Non-Combustible Nicotine Delivery Systems Regulation Act’ is a massive legislative achievement for tobacco harm reduction advocates in the Philippines, says Nancy Loucas, Executive Coordinator of the Coalition of Asia Pacific Tobacco Harm Reduction Advocates (CAPHRA).

“Nearly 90,000 Filipinos die from smoking-related diseases every year. This legislation will not only save thousands of lives, but the Philippines is now leading the way in the Asia-Pacific region with reasonable, risk proportionate regulation which will be very effective in curbing smoking rates,” says Ms Loucas.

With international evidence putting vaping at 95% less harmful than smoking, non-combustible electronic nicotine and non-nicotine delivery systems (ENDS/ENNDS) have been available in the Philippines for more than a decade. However, in 2019 the Government tried to ban the use of e-cigarettes, HTPs, and other smoke-free alternatives.

CAPHRA says once this proposed bill becomes law, it will also remove any remaining vestiges of influence from foreigners. This includes raising the age to purchase to 25, and a ban on flavours other than menthol and tobacco that was due to come into effect in May 2022.

A proposed Government ban sparked efforts by the likes of Vapers PH and Philippine E-Cigarette Industry Association (PECIA), with support from CAPHRA, to meet with House and Senate representatives on the benefits of smoke-free alternatives. They reinforced to legislators that vaping has proved be the most effective smoking cessation tool around the world, with the Philippines in desperate need of best practice policies to reduce the numbers smoking.

Consumer advocates in the Philippines promoted the regulation of e-cigarettes as a consumer product. They argued that the age of majority in the Philippines is 18 - one can purchase tobacco, alcohol and get married at 18 - so the current age to purchase of 21 was nonsensical. Supporting the minimum age for the purchase, sale and use of such products to R18 would bring vape in line with other ‘adult’ activities and privileges. 

At the same time, they argued adult smokers keen to quit tobacco need reasonable access to safer alternatives and restricted advertising should be permitted. Product safety standards were also critically important to the consumer advocates.

Clarisse Virgino, the Philippine representative of CAPHRA, is delighted that the country’s legislators have listened, saying the prospect of more Filipinos successfully quitting smoking is of historic significance given the country’s stubbornly high smoking rates for decades.

“The proposed Act will legitimize the market of vaporized nicotine products which means that consumers will have better protection. We hope that the Senate will also support this bill to provide millions of Filipino smokers with less harmful alternatives to combustible cigarettes,” says Ms Virgino.

Peter Paul Dator, President of consumer group Vapers PH and CAPHRA member, is equally pleased the country’s legislators are acting. He says for too long the World Health Organization’s ‘cold turkey’ approach to smoking cessation has cost thousands of lives in low-income countries with high smoking rates.

He notes that past official statistics revealed nearly a quarter of all Filipino adults smoked. This is matched by the Philippines very low 4% smoking cessation rate - even though over three-quarters of smokers wanted or planned to quit smoking tobacco. Very few, however, were able to do so successfully.

“It’s exciting that the country is now legitimising the most effective method we have to quit smoking. For years we’ve tried strategies such as going ‘cold turkey’ counseling, and nicotine replacement therapy and our dismal national smoking rate speaks for itself,” he says.

The Vapers PH president says the Senate can be confident with the quality of work and level of consumer and industry consultation that has informed the legislation which he describes as enabling a realistic and workable regulatory framework.

“This will undoubtedly reduce serious sickness and premature death among the 16 million cigarette smokers in the Philippines by helping them to switch to a safer, smoke-free alternative. The House of Representatives has done very well, and I know the Senate is equally keen to pass evidence-based legislation that helps reduce our appallingly high smoking rates,” says Mr Dator.

Consumer groups in the Asia-Pacific region have launched a petition that urges the World Health Organisation (WHO) to respect consumer rights ahead of the next biennial meeting of the WHO Framework Convention of Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) in November. Please sign and share the petition at


date_rangeDate Published
6 months ago
shareShare article
folder_openArticle tags
content_copyCategorized under

Share your thoughts with us

Related Articles

Local producers tapped for feeding program 

account_balanceMetro Manila chrome_reader_mode3 days ago

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) on Wednesday said it will continue to tap small producers of agricultural products in its Supplementary Feeding Program (SFP) to help the local community,  according to a report by Phi...

Over 7,000 Muntinlupa residents receive jabs on 1st day of Nat’l Vaccination Days 

account_balanceMuntinlupa chrome_reader_mode5 days ago

The local government of Muntinlupa has reached its daily target for the first day of the “Bayanihan Bakunahan” National COVID-19 Vaccination Days campaign recording more than 7,000 residents to have been inoculated last November 29. Acco...

Valenzuela opens new sites for booster jabs

account_balanceValenzuela chrome_reader_mode4 hours ago

Two schools in Valenzuela City have been set up as vaccination sites to accommodate recipients of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) booster shots, the local government announced on Dec. 5, according to a report by Manila Bulletin. Fully-vaccin...

Economy seen to grow within target 

account_balanceMetro Manila chrome_reader_mode5 days ago

Despite the looming threat of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), Malacañang on Tuesday said it is confident that the Philippines could still achieve its target of 4 percent to 5 percent economic growth by the end o...

Let's Stay Connected Like us on our Facebook page.
Click on the article to continue reading
Quezon City adopts no contact apprehension system Red Cross pushes saliva test Vaccines from COVAX to arrive in Q1 Makati Shangri-La to close doors on Feb. 1 Cities in NCR to start vaccination simultaneously Mother, girlfriend of Filipino infected with UK variant also test positive Send Press Release MNC Facebook Page MNC Twitter Page MNC Instagram Page LGU Spotlight Barangay Front Business Sports Entertainment Metro Gen Metro Feature