Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto, who is a vape user himself as seen from his online meetings with the Senate, has filed Senate Bill No. 1951, which seeks to ban minors from buying vape products.
Also known as the "Vaporized Nicotine Products Regulation Act," it “imposes a minimum age restriction of 18 years for these products to ensure that only adults are allowed access to its use.”
As written in the measure that includes making risk-appropriate health warnings on the package a must, buyers need to present a government-issued ID with their photo, age, and birthday before making a purchase on vape products at e-cigarette stores, including online platforms.
"It should not be a defense for the person selling or distributing that he/she did not know or was not aware of the real age of the purchaser,” it read. Otherwise, their e-cigarette business could be immediately suspended until they comply with the requirements set by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).
“Neither shall it be a defense that he/she did not know nor had any reason to believe that the product was for the consumption of a person below 18," it stressed.
Additionally, the bill seeks to ban the aforementioned smoking devices in establishments frequented by minors like schools, government offices, hospitals, among others. "It further limits to designated vaping areas, the use of these products in indoor facilities and in other specific places that are open to the general public," the measure explained.
In the event that it will be enacted into law, violators will be fined up to P150,000 for first offense, P250,000 for second offense, and P500,000 or imprisonment of up to five years for third offense.