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Bicameral bill regulating e-cigarettes and heated tobacco barriers

A measure regulating the importation, manufacturing, sale, packaging, distribution, use, and transmission of vaporized nicotine and non-nicotine products, as well as new tobacco products, was passed by a congressional bicameral conference committee on Wednesday.

The panel adopted the report reconciling the differing sections of House Bill 9007 and Senate Bill 2239, which was led by Deputy Speaker Wes Gatchalian of the House of Representatives and Senate President Pro Tempore Senator Ralph Recto of the Senate, respectively.

House Deputy Speaker Rufus Rodriguez said during the conference meeting that the bill aims to provide an alternative for Filipinos who want to quit smoking.

Recto, on the other hand, pointed out that while Congress wishes to encourage people to switch from smoking to vaping, the bill does not support the advertising of vaping “as a lifestyle.”

Manufacturers, importers, distributors, and retailers would be forbidden from making posts, messages, or images that encourage the purchase and use of vape devices if the measure is signed into law.

The bill directs the Department of Health to issue guidelines for the implementation of anti-smoking and anti-vaping campaigns.

Meanwhile, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) will work with the Food and Drug Administration to develop technical standards for vape product safety, uniformity, and quality.

Manufacturers, distributors, importers, and sellers would then have an 18-month grace period to comply with the measure’s requirements after the implementing rules and regulations are issued.

This would include the vape items’ registration with the DTI.

Both the House and the Senate must approve the report before it can be implemented.

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