Nationwide smoking ban now covers vape

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, February 28) – President Rodrigo Duterte is now banning the use of unregistered vape in public and enclosed places nationwide.

Duterte signed Executive Order 106, amending EO 26 that prohibits smoking of cigarettes in enclosed areas such as schools, elevators and stairwells, fire hazard locations, medical facilities.

Vaping is no longer allowed except in designated smoking areas, which may be an open space or area with proper ventilation, the order read.

EO 106 also regulated the sale, manufacture, marketing, distribution and importation of unregistered electronic nicotine devices and other novel tobacco products, citing serious health threats to those who are exposed to smoke.

All e-liquid solutions, electronic cigarettes and vaping devices shall be registered with the Food and Drug Administration, the order said, adding that firms must first secure a license from the FDA before they can be allowed to operate.

The directive also bans establishments from selling e-cigarettes and other tobacco products to a person aged 21 years old and below.

In November last year, the chief executive issued a verbal order disallowing the use and importation of vapes, following the first confirmed report of electronic cigarette or vaping-associated lung injury in the country.

The new order will take effect 15 days after its publication in newspapers of nationwide circulation.

The Health Department has been pushing for a total ban on e-cigarettes, saying there is still not enough hard evidence to support the health claims of the e-cigarette industry that vapes do not cause harmful effects on human health.

DOH defines e-cigarette as a product “made of plastic and metal device that heats a liquid nicotine solution (e-juice) in a disposable cartridge. It creates a tiny light on the tip, even glows like a real cigarette, and produces a vapor that stimulates the act of smoking.”