Albay Rep. Joey Sarte Salceda has called out vape products with labels that “obviously appeal to young people, in direct contravention of the Vaping Regulation Law” or Republic Act 11900.
Salceda, chair of the House ways and means committee, at the same time asked the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to clarify whether the 18-month transition period for vape sellers “is meant to sunset old stocks or is a free-for-all.”
“Flavors proliferated after RA 11900 amended the Tax Code’s ban on flavors for vape. So, this is obviously not to get old stock out. These new vape products with very youth-enticing labels are clearly trying to stay for good,” Salceda said.
“Obviously, if you had old stock of vape prior to RA 11900 that had flavors, you were in violation of the law. The new law still bans flavors that appeal to young people. So, you shouldn’t be able to sell this stuff,” Salceda added.
The Vape Regulation Law bans “the sale of Vaporized Nicotine and Non-Nicotine Products and Novel Tobacco Products that are packaged, labeled, presented, or marketed with flavor descriptors that are proven to unduly appeal particularly to minors.”
It defined such descriptors as unduly appealing to minors “if it includes a reference to a fruit, candy brand, dessert, or cartoon character.” RA 11900 provides that “Manufacturers, distributors, importers and retailers of Vaporized Nicotine and Non-Nicotine Products or their devices, and Novel Tobacco Products shall be given an eighteen (18)-month transitory period from the issuance of the implementing rules and regulations of this Act to comply with the requirements herein.”
Salceda said, however, that the transitory provision “should not be a free-for-all where sellers can defy legal logic and just do whatever.
This shouldn’t be 18 months of vape anarchy. Who’s regulating what, in the meantime?”
“I hope the DTI clarifies this. They took regulation away from the FDA. So presumably, they should know what to do,” Salceda added.
Salceda also deputized a technical working group in the House Committee on Ways and Means to proceed with its deliberations on smuggled vape products and counterfeits.
“I have also charged the Vape TWG of the House WAM committee to resume its discussions on illicit trade in vape. I’ve always held that vaping itself is bad. But smuggled, unregulated vape is more dangerous.”
“I am also directing the TWG to explore the question of regulation. Who is watching out for the public welfare during these 18 months?”