Addressed to Marcos through Executive Secretary Victor Rodriguez on July 8th, the letter was signed by a group including academics, health care professionals and researchers, including: Dr. Jose Dante Dator, former executive director of National Kidney and Transplant Institute; Dr. Rafael Castillo, past president of the Philippine Heart Association and Asia Pacific Society of Hypertension; Dr. Arleen Reyes, past president of the Philippine Dental Association; Dr. Romeo Luna Jr., president of San Juan Medical Center Staff Association; Dr. Telesforo Gana, past president of the Philippine Urological Association; Dr. Fernando Fernandez, former president of the Philippine College of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons; Dr. Howard Enriquez, past president of Philippine Society of Otolaryngology; and Dr. Alvin Laxamana, former president of the Philippine Dental Association.

It called for the enactment of the Vape Bill as the first comprehensive regulation of safer nicotine alternatives such as vaping and heated tobacco products. “The bottom line is that vaping can help smokers stop smoking and in the process reduce the number of deaths and sickness due to smoking,” they said. “The potential benefits of saving, or at the very least enhancing the quality of lives and improving long-term outcomes of smokers, with this bill once enacted into law, is a big opportunity we could not afford to lose.”

Similarly, a recent survey conducted in the Philippines by an Asian research network, found that nine out of ten, or 90%, of local smokers would be in support of a public health strategy that endorses the use of safer nicotine alternatives such as e-cigarettes for smoking cessation.

Enacted into law automatically

The Vape Bill in question is a reconciled version of Senate Bill 2239 or the ‘Vaporized Nicotine and Non-Nicotine Products Regulation Act’ which aims aims to regulate the importation, manufacture, sale, packaging, distribution, use and consumption of e-cigarettes and heated tobacco products (HTPs) using internationally-accepted standards to protect citizens from the hazards of regulated, unregulated and substandard products, and House Bill 9007 or the ‘Non-Combustible Nicotine Delivery Systems Regulation Act.’ 

The bill was passed to former President Rodrigo Duterte and his successor Ferdinand Marcos Jr., on June 24th. The presidents had a window of 30 days to sign the bill or veto. Therefore when neither of them took action, the bill automatically became law on July 25th.

Read Further: The Manila Times

Philippines Applauded For Progressive And Risk-Proportionate Vape Laws

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