The Department of Education (DepEd) on Thursday appealed to President Rodrigo Duterte to veto a bill that aims to lower the age of access to vaporized nicotine (vape) and non-nicotine products as well as novel tobacco products.
“As a government institution championing young Filipinos’ well-being, we are taking a stand against the so-called ‘anti-health’ vape bill, which will weaken existing law and the executive order against Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS) or Electronic Non-Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENNDS) commonly known as e-cigarettes or ‘vapes,’” DepEd said in a statement.
DepEd said that if passed into law, the bill will “erode” the important provisions already in Republic Act No. 11467 and Executive Order No. 106 both signed by the President in 2020. It noted that the law and the executive order already regulate electronic nicotine or non-nicotine delivery systems, heated tobacco products, and other novel tobacco items.
In particular, the bill will lower the access restriction age from 21—as currently stated by RA 11467 and EO 106—to 18 years old.
According to DepEd, at least 870,000 learners in the basic education sector for School Year 2020 to 2021 are 18 years old, while close to 1.1 million learners in senior high school are 18 to 20 years old.
“This is the number of learners who will become legally allowed to be marketed the harmful products once the bill becomes law,” DepEd stressed.
Catherine Gonzales – Inquirer.net – 2022-03-17.