Senate calls out DTI for sale of vape products targeting youth

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, February 6) — The Department of Trade and Industry caught some heat from senators who condemned the sale of vaporized products with designs and flavors attractive to the youth.

In a privilege speech on Monday, Senator Pia Cayetano showed photos of the products she said are being sold in the country in violation of the Vaporized Nicotine and Non-Nicotine Products Regulation Act. Under the law, flavors and designs that appeal to minors are prohibited.

"We treat this product as the savior when there is no evidence yet that it is safer for the youth and even for senior citizens," Cayetano said.

"Why do they target the youth? Because that is their future market. The minute you hook a young person, kliyente mo na ‘yan for the next 20, 30, or 40 years," she added.

Senate Majority Leader Joel Villanueva said DTI "has a lot of explaining to do."

Senate Minority Leader Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III expressed disappointment, noting that DTI officials assured in the past Senate hearings that the agency can regulate vape products.

Cayetano's speech was referred to the Committee on Sustainable Development Goals, Innovation and Futures Thinking which she chairs. This means the panel will lead a legislative inquiry on the issue, with the Committee on Trade, Commerce and Entrepreneurship as secondary.

The Senate also adopted an unnumbered resolution calling out the DTI and condemning the sale and marketing of the vape products that apparently target minors.