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Bicam panel finishes report on bill regulating vape products

A bicameral conference committee has reconciled the disagreeing provisions of the Senate and House versions of the measure seeking to regulate vaporized nicotine and non-nicotine products or vapes.

Senate Bill 2239 and House Bill 9007 both provide for regulations on the  importation, manufacture, sale, packaging, distribution, use, and communication of vape products and novel tobacco products..

The bicameral panel report which will be up for ratification by the Senate and House bans  posts, messages, or images by manufacturers, importers, distributors, and retailers that encourage the purchase and use of vape products.

House Deputy Speaker Rufus Rodriguez said that the measure aimed to offer an alternative for Filipinos who want to quit smoking.

Senator Ralph Recto, however, said that the bill did not back the promotion of vaping “as a lifestyle.”

The Department of Health will be tasked to prescribe guidelines on the implementation of smoking and vaping restriction awareness campaigns while the Department of Trade and Industry will consult with the Food and Drug Administration in setting technical standards for the safety, consistency, and quality of the vape products.

Manufacturers, distributors, importers, and sellers will be given an 18-month transitory period from the issuance of the implementing rules and regulations to comply with the requirements of this measure.

This would include the registration of the vape products with the DTI.

The chairman of the House contingent in the bicameral panel was Deputy Speaker Weslie Gatchalian while Recto chaired that of the Senate.

Other House Members present were Deputy Speaker Kristine Singson-Meehan,as well as Reps. Sharon Garin, Estrellita Suansing, Stella Luz Quimbo, and Alfredo Garbin Jr.

The Senate panel was also joined by Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri and Minority Leader Franklin Drilon. —NB, GMA News