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Senate adopts resolution vs. sale, marketing of vape products towards youth

The Senate on Monday adopted an unnumbered resolution denouncing the sale and marketing of e-cigarettes and other vape products towards the youth.

This developed after Senator Pia Cayetano delivered a privileged speech on vape flavors and designs which draw young people to the products.

Cayetano criticized anew the Vape Law, which she said removed the provision of the Sin Tax Law that only tobacco and plain menthol flavors were allowed.

She presented photos of vape which showed fruit flavors such as melon, blueberry, and mango.

Another set of photos showed cartoon characters and candy brands being used as labels for vape sticks.

Cayetano cited Section 12 of the Vape Law which provides, “The sale of vaporized nicotine and non-nicotine products and novel tobacco products that are packaged, labeled, presented, or marketed with flavor descriptors that are proven to unduly appeal particularly to minors shall be prohibited."

"A flavor descriptor is presumed to unduly appeal to minors if it includes a reference to a fruit, candy brand, dessert, or cartoon character," the provision said.

“These are the flavors now. Hindi ba direct violation yan..? What are these others? It’s a freaking skateboard. Sino ba nagse-skateboard na may edad? There are a few actually. But predominantly, skateboarders are young people,” Cayetano said.

“I cannot control the behavior of adults, but it is still our job when we legislate that we don’t allow these products to be marketed indiscriminately to make it appear as if it is safer. And now, we can see evidence that they are really targeting the youth,” she added.

Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri floated the idea of passing an unnumbered resolution to condemn this marketing practice and “implore” the Department of Trade Industry to implement the law to the letter.

It was supported by Senate Majority Leader Joel Villanueva, Senate Minority Leader Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III and Senator Jinggoy Estrada.

“Frankly, I’m quite disappointed... because you know, DTI also has the regulate the industry and this is what is happening here,” Pimentel said.

“We are really disappointed because we put our trust in them. Sabi nila kaya nila. I hope that they will be able to explain what’s happening during the committee hearing,” he added.

Before the aproval of the unnumbered resolution, all the senators were named co-authors.

Once the resolution was prepared, the Senate secretariat was directed to furnish copies of this to the DTI and other concerned government agencies. —NB, GMA Integrated News