SENATE majority leader Juan Miguel Zubiri on Monday night said President Duterte wants vapes or e-cigarettes to be regulate, not banned.
Zubiri said this was relayed by Sen. Christopher “Bong” Go.
Zubiri said they sought a clarification from Malacanang after Duterte sent mixed signals on the matter last week. Zubiri said his colleagues in the Senate are in the process of deliberating how much taxes should be imposed on vapes or e-cigarettes.
Zubiri said they expect the bill on the regulation of vapes to be passed on second reading on December 4.
Bills on regulating vapes have already been filed by Senators Zubiri, Pia Cayetano, Francis Tolentino, and Sherwin Gatchalian.
Under Cayetano’s bill, regulating vapes mean the product cannot be sold to minors (at least 18 and above), regulate places where the product can be advertised, and there should be specific areas where vapes can be sold, among others.
Zubiri’s bill is almost the same in content, except that he wants to ban the sale of added flavors in vape juices/flavorings which, based on studies, are the main cause of vape-related sickness.
Zubiri said that now that Duterte’s decision on vapes is clear, senators are now tackling the passage of the increase in sin taxes which the President certified as urgent.
Revenues from alcohol, tobacco, and vapes are expected to generate an additional P47.9 billion or an estimated P356.9 billion in five years to support the Universal Health Care Act.