MANILA — The House of Representatives for the Republic of the Philippines is prepared to move forward with a proposed landmark bill that would regulate the sale and manufacture of electronic cigarettes and heated tobacco products to curb cigarette smoking.

154 co-authors in the 300-man chamber for the House would develop the Vaporized Nicotine Product bill that seeks to establish a clear and effective regulatory framework to monitor product manufacturing standards and prevent sales to minors.

According to the English-speaking Manila Standard, the legislation regulates these products further to avoid “unintended or potential adverse consequences on the use of these products.”

“Although the country is already experiencing a proliferation of sale and use of HTPs and vaping products among Filipino consumers, we do not have a clear and effective law and regulation, including product standards that should govern these products,” said Rep. Sharon Garin, representing Quezon City, is the principal sponsor for the legislation before the House. “Thus, through the passage of this bill, we fill this gap on regulation.”

Garbin argued that more than 75 other countries worldwide had passed laws regulating the sale of e-cigarettes and vaping products. This metric also includes the United States, London, New Zealand, Australia (more aggressively), Canada, and others.

The number of countries that revoked the ban of e-cigarettes also went down in 2020, with Garbin citing that Norway is the latest country to reverse its policy from a ban.

“The governments of Canada and New Zealand have now also recognized the potential benefit smokers can gain when switching to vaping,” Garbin said.

“Their decision to adopt such policies is anchored on decades of research on the subject of nicotine, e-cigarettes, tobacco and harm reduction.”

The Standard also said that the bill was “extensively discussed and debated by experts, scientists, and other stakeholders during the joint hearings conducted by the House Committees on Trade and Industry and on Health.”

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