THE highly contested vape bill has already lapsed into law without the signature of President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles said on Tuesday, July 26, 2022.

Instead of the Food and Drug Administration, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) will now be the lead agency in the regulation of sale and distribution of vape products following the passage of the law.

The measure also lowers down the age who can buy vape products from 21 to 18 years old.

It also seeks to regulate the importation, manufacture, sale, packaging, distribution, use and communication of vaporized nicotine and non-nicotine products, as well as novel tobacco products.

It will give the DTI the power to order a recall or confiscation of non-compliant smoke-free products sold online and in physical stores.

Flavor descriptors in vape products are also prohibited under the measure.

The vape bill is a consolidated version of Senate Bill 2239 or the “Vaporized Nicotine and Non-Nicotine Products Regulation Act” and House Bill 9007 or the “Non-Combustible Nicotine Delivery Systems Regulation Act.”

Various groups of medical practitioners earlier expressed support to the measure, saying it will help smokers quit from consuming the traditional tobacco cigarettes.

They said this can help lower the person’s risk of smoking-related illnesses and even death.

Other groups and personalities, however, maintained their stand against the vape bill.

The DOH said it will place Filipino youth in particular “at undue risk of harmful and addictive substances” associated with vape use like alcohol, marijuana, and potentially other illicit drugs. (SunStar Philippines)