Action for Economic Reforms is in solidarity with the “Junk Vape Bill” online rally and joins the calls urging Senators to vote against this regressive bill that is anti-health and anti-youth.

Yesterday, December 13, the Senate passed Senate Bill 2239 on second reading. We must do all we can to prevent its passing on third and final reading.

Medical societies and health advocates have opposed the bill for its regressive provisions lowering the age of access to e-cigarettes and vapes from 21 to 18, allowing flavored additives for e-cigarettes and vapes, and allowing the online sale of e-cigarettes and vapes.

SB 2239 makes it easier for the youth to start the addictive habit of vaping, which has already led to an epidemic of lung injuries in other countries. Filipinos, especially the youth who are more susceptible to vaping, need regulatory policy that protects them from these health harms.

The evidence is there: e-cigarettes and vapes are harmful to health, and we should regulate them as much as possible. The vape and e-cigarette industry is clearly prioritizing their own profit by pushing for this bill, as a bill regulating e-cigarettes was passed just in 2020.

If the Senators care about Filipinos’ health, they must vote against this bill on its third and final reading. We will hold our legislators accountable for their votes. We call on them to demonstrate that Filipinos can trust them to be pro-health rather than pro-industry, in the middle of one of our biggest public health crises.