The Sin Tax Coalition lauds the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) for amplifying its enforcement of e-cigarette, vape, and heated tobacco product regulations, in line with Republic Act 11900 or the Vape Law.

Given that the DTI is now the main regulator of e-cigarette and vape products, they must be resolute in making sure that vape regulations are in place: namely, age verification mechanisms, point of sale signage, graphic and textual health warnings, the ban of marketing towards the youth, the ban of sales, promotion and advertising of vapes within 100 meters from schools or other facilities frequented by minors, and product registration, as mandated in RA 11900.

In the span of 3 months, the DTI seized almost PhP3 million worth of uncertified vaporized nicotine and non-nicotine products and novel tobacco products in Metro Manila.

The DTI’s investigation found that online e-cigarettes sellers are largely non-compliant with existing regulation, with 16,290 non-compliant online vape stores. We call on the DTI to push for the removal of listings of e-cigarettes and heated tobacco products packaged, labeled, marketed or presented with flavor descriptors that are unduly appealing to the youth, such as fruits, candy brands, desserts, or cartoon characters.

Around the world, governments are strengthening e-cigarette regulation. In April, it was announced that in the United States, e-cigarette manufacturer Juul agreed to pay $462 million to six states and the District of Columbia, pledging to not employ cartoons in ads or otherwise market to younger consumers.

We urge the DTI to strictly enforce e-cigarette regulations to protect the youth from the products’ harmful health effects. We hope that through its monitoring efforts, DTI can also ensure that e-cigarette vendors pay the corresponding taxes levied on them as mandated in RA 11467. The Sin Tax Coalition is committed to working with the DTI and concerned agencies to strengthen e-cigarette regulation and prevent the Filipino youth from being deceived into addiction.