MANILA, Philippines — A bill seeking to ban vaping or the use of e-cigarettes in public places has been filed at the House of Representatives, a proposed measure that defines vapes not as alternatives to but as dangerous as traditional cigarettes.
House Bill No. 5510, which was filed by House deputy majority leader Rep. Bernadette Herrera on Monday, Nov. 18, also provides “stringent” rules on online sales and advertising of vaping products
“Currently, people who are vaping are everywhere. They are not the only ones who inhale vapors because other people around them are affected,” said Herrera in Filipino in a stament
The bill seeks to impose penalties, like fines ranging from P100,000 to P500,000, to imprisonment and confiscation, om violators. Foreign nationals could also face deportation if found violating the measure.
Under the bill, vaping will be prohibited in the following public places:
-Centers of youth activity such as playschools, preparatory schools, elementary schools, high schools, colleges and universities, youth hostels, and recreational facilities for minors
-Elevators and stairwells
-Location in which fire hazards are present, including gas stations and storage areas for flammable liquids, gas, explosives or combustible materials
-Within the buildings and premises of public and private hospitals, medical, dental, and optical clinics, health centers, nursing homes, dispensaries, and laboratories
-Public conveyances and public facilities including airport and ship terminals, train and bus stations, restaurants, and conference halls
Under the bill, persons who wish to sell, offer for sale, distribute or transfer vaping products online must meet the requirements set by the E-Commerce Act, Data Privacy Act of 2012.
Only those 18 years old or above are allowed to buy vapes.
Advertising of vaping products would be allowed only if it is not aimed at minors, will not feature a celebrity or contain an endorsement by a celebrity (social media influencers are included), will contain only text and/or a visual of the vapor product, and include warnings.
The filing of the bills came after the Department of Health reported the first case of vape-related lung injury in the country.
The patient was a 16-year-old girl from Central Visayas who had been using e-cigarette daily for four months since March. She started smoking both the device and traditional cigarettes until she was hospitalized on Oct. 21./Edited by TSB
READ: DOH cites 1st PH case of vape-related injury
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