Child rights advocates press for strict gov’t regulations on sale, use of e-cigarettes, HTPs – Manila Bulletin | #parents | #teensvaping


Child Rights Network (CRN), the largest alliance of child rights advocates in the Philippines, has urged the government to impose stricter regulations on the use and sale of e-cigarettes, vapes, and other heated tobacco products (HTPs) among teens and young adults.

(Pixabay)

Citing data from the Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI), CRN said that one in every five e-cigarette users are aged 19 and below.

In fact, it said the marketing strategies of the e-cigarette industry show that their products are heavily focused on children and young people.

What’s even more concerning is the fact that vaping and the use of HTPs are suspected of increasing the spread of corona virus disease 2019 (COVID-19) among the youth, it stressed.

Thus, it said, the imminent danger posed by the use of e-cigarettes, highlights the need to complement existing legislations such as Republic Act No. 11467, which empowered the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to regulate the sale of e-cigarettes and HTPs, and introduce a ban on the sale of these products to those below 21 years of age.

“The standards set by RA 11467 should be considered the bare minimum when it comes to regulating the e-cigarette industry. We reiterate this position as in recent discussions in Congress where there were moves to lower the minimum age set for buying e-cigarettes from 21 to 18,” CRN said in a statement.

It reiterated its position that a higher minimum age is “extremely crucial” in preventing children from getting addicted to the products.

It pointed out that minimum 21-age limit should be maintained, however, “it would be better if it is raised further to 25.”

At the same time, CRN said there are debates that the regulatory provisions and additional taxes on the sale and use of e-cigarettes and HTPs should be limited to the jurisdiction on issues involving trade and industry.

It insisted that the matter is still a health issue that can gravely affect the health of children.

“By treating e-cigarette regulation bills as a health issue, our legislators can rightly study the inclusion of provisions that will acutely curb the dangerous ramifications of e-cigarettes to our children and youth,” it asserted.

It recommended that the proposed legislations which seek to regulate the sale and use of e-cigarettes and HTPs should be reverted to the Senate Health Committee and not to the Trade Committee.

 


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