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Senate set to tackle bills regulating vaping next year

MANILA, Philippines — The Senate hopes to tackle measures seeking to regulate the use of electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) or vapes by January next year, with Senate President Vicente Sotto III saying the matter has to be fast-tracked for the sake of those who use vapes as tools to quit smoking.

Sotto said the regulation of vapes could be discussed after the chamber approves the new sin tax bill which seeks to impose taxes on these devices.

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According to Sotto, the sin tax bill would also offer a form of regulation, since it would impose a P45 tax on heated tobacco products which will increase by P5 every year until 2023.

The Senate expects to approve the measure, which would also cover alcohol and cigarettes, before it adjourns this month, he said.

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Vape users complain

Once this measure is approved, the Senate could turn its attention to proposals to regulate e-cigarettes and heated-tobacco products, Sotto said.

“We need to hasten discussions on this because some vape users are complaining. They want to quit smoking, and they are complaining that they are being prevented [from vaping]. It’s best that we regulate as soon as possible,” he said.

Some health advocacy groups said that vapes could help cigarette smokers quit the harmful habit.

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