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Customs orders ports to block entry of vape products after Duterte ban

The Bureau of Customs (BOC) on Thursday said it has ordered its enforcement team on all ports to block the importation of vape products in the country following the ban order of President Rodrigo Duterte.

In a message to GMA News Online, Customs Assistant Commissioner Jet Maronilla said the BOC also coordinated closely with the FDA for the enforcement of the ban.

"The Bureau of Customs has issued a directive to its Intelligence and Enforcement Groups as well as all our ports of entry to be vigilant and prevent the entry of vape products and its related items,” he said.

“Hence, all importation of vape products and its related items shall immediately be subject to seizure by the Bureau of Customs," he added.

On Tuesday, President Rodrigo Duterte ordered law enforcers to arrest vape smokers in public, as he announced a ban on its use and importation. 

“I will ban it, the use and importation.  . . .because it is toxic . . .it is not good and contrary to public safety,” Duterte said.

On November 15, the Department of Health reported the first case in the country of lung injury related to vaping. The probable case will be regarded as confirmed if examination results show that viral or bacterial infection did not cause the lung injury. 

The Philippine National Police on Wednesday started enforcing the vaping ban in public places. 

Duterte also warned judges against defying his order during his speech at the ceremony of Department of National Defense’s 80th anniversary celebration.  —LDF, GMA News