QC gov’t regulates use of e-cigarettes in public places

Marje Pelayo   •   March 20, 2019   •   1598

A vaper puffs out a big cloud of fruity-tinged vapour with his e-cigarette

QUEZON CITY, Philippines – The Quezon City government has approved a city ordinance regulating the use of electronic cigarettes or e-cigarettes in public places, including advertisements and promotions regarding it.

On Tuesday (March 20) the QC government issued a press release that says Mayor Herbert Bautista has approved City Ordinance 2737-2018 which aims to protect the health and welfare of the residents of Quezon City.

It also includes provisions that will safeguard the interests of all stakeholders “including smokers who have the right to choose less harmful alternatives to cigarettes.”

The ordinance covers places of worship, hospitals or other healthcare centers, public conveyances, government offices, and educational or recreational facilities primarily intended for minors.

E-cigarettes will only be allowed in all enclosed places, whether public or private use, provided that the owner, operator or administrator of the establishment shall post: “USE OF E-CIGARETTES IS ALLOWED INSIDE” in each entrance of the building.

Private workplaces may designate a vaping area in open spaces with proper ventilation but shall not be the same room as the designated smoking area.

It is unlawful under the ordinance to purchase e-cigarettes from a minor, for minors to sell e-cigarettes, and for minors to purchase e-cigarettes.

Only direct marketing and online ads are allowed for e-cigarettes but must not appeal to audience 18 years and below.

The ads must specifically depict the use of e-cigarettes only to persons above 25 years of age.

It must not show or portray the actual use of e-cigarettes that will undermine quit-smoking messages and encourage non-tobacco or non-nicotine users to use the product.

All allowable advertisements and promotional materials for nicotine receptacles shall contain the health warning: “This product may damage your health and is addictive” occupying 10% of the bottom area of the advertisement.

  • Penalties for violations of the ordinance include:
  • First offense: Not less than P500 but not more than P1,000;
  • Second offense: More than P1,000 but not more than P2,500;
  • Third offense: Not less than P2,500 but not more than P5,000 and cancellation/revocation of the business permit or license to operate of the offender. — Marje Pelayo

US bans fruit, mint vaping cartridges to curb youth use

Robie de Guzman   •   January 3, 2020

Washington – The United States Food and Drug Administration on Thursday banned the sale of unauthorized flavored cartridge-based e-cigarettes, including fruit and mint, in an attempt to reduce their use among children and youth.

The decision, in which companies have 30 days to cease manufacture, distribution and sales, aims to reduce the “troubling epidemic” among youth, although for some sectors it is seen as a step back from the original plan of the President Donald Trump administration to ban all flavors.

“The United States has never seen an epidemic of substance use arise as quickly as our current epidemic of youth use of e-cigarettes,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar in the FDA statement.

On September 11 last year, Azar announced that the Trump administration planned to ban the sale of flavored e-cigarettes except tobacco after the first deaths linked to their use were made public.

At that time, Trump, in statements from the Oval Office with Azar and other officials, said that vaping is a problem that especially affects “innocent children.”

In October, Juul, the largest manufacturer of e-cigarettes in the US, announced it was suspending sales of most of its flavors in the country ahead of the ban, although it anticipated that it would continue to manufacture tobacco and menthol flavors.

The same month, The Washington Post reported that the Trump administration was considering allowing the sale of some flavors so as not to put at risk the re-election of Trump, whose campaign team has warned of the electoral impact that the plan to ban all flavored e-cigarettes would have amid possible job losses and voter backlash.

The report said Trump’s campaign chief Brad Parscale warned that the plan to reduce vaping among young people could hurt Trump in the 2020 election.

Groups working in the industry also created a pushback campaign called #IvapeIVote and #WeVapeWeVote.

In its statement, the FDA cited federal survey data to show that young people are particularly attracted to flavors such as fruit and mint, more so than to tobacco or menthol.

According to local media, 55 people have died across 27 states due to a lung illness linked to vaping. EFE-EPA

lb/tw

Duterte orders ban on vapes, EO to follow

Marje Pelayo   •   November 20, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered a ban on sale, importation and use of electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) or vapes.

Furthermore, the Chief Executive ordered law enforcement agencies to arrest anyone who would be caught vaping in all public places across the country.

The President is convinced that vaping poses more harm to people than smoking ordinary cigarettes.

“Vaping is also dangerous and I am banning it, and if you are smoking now, you will be arrested,” he announced during the press briefing on Tuesday (November 19) in Malacañang.

“I am banning the importation. Customs, you listen to it. I’m banning it altogether,” he added.

The President said he will issue an executive order to formalize his directive.

The Chief Executive’s announcement came after a recent report of the first e-cigarette vaping-associated lung injury (e-VALI) in the country.

“I have that urgent power to do it, so I’m ordering it,” he said.

“The EO will follow. I’m banning it because it’s contrary to public safety,” the President concluded. – MNP (with details from Rosalie Coz)

California sues Juul, largest manufacturer of e-cigarettes

Robie de Guzman   •   November 20, 2019

A sign advertises Juul pods, used for vaping in e-cigarettes, outside of a store in New York, New York, USA, 13 September 2019. The United States’ Food and Drug Administration announced this week a developing plan that is expected to be introduced in the coming weeks that would ban the sale of flavored e-cigarettes and nicotine pods. EPA-EFE/JUSTIN LANE

San Francisco – The state of California on Monday filed a lawsuit against Juul Labs Inc., the largest US manufacturer of e-cigarettes, alleging that the firm targeted young people and teenagers with its advertising despite the fact that sales of its products are prohibited to people under age 21.

“We’ve worked too hard, committed our hard-earned money for too long combating harmful tobacco use to stand idly by as we now lose Californians to vaping and nicotine addiction,” state Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra said at a news conference in Los Angeles.

“Juul adopted the tobacco industry’s infamous playbook, employing advertisements that had no regard for public health and searching out vulnerable targets,” he added.

The complaint was presented jointly by the California state government, the city and county of Los Angeles, and in it the plaintiffs claim that, besides targeting young people with its advertising, the firm did not warn the public about the fact that its products expose users to potentially dangerous chemicals and to the risk of cancer, birth defects and reproductive damage.

In addition, according to the plaintiffs, Juul did not verify the age of consumers of its products and violated privacy laws of minors by saving their e-mail addresses and using them to send those people more ads.

Specifically, the lawsuit says that the e-cigarette manufacturer publicized its mango, mint, cream and pepper flavors, which are especially popular among teens.

E-cigarettes are facing increasing restrictions in the US, with prohibitions on the local and state level and the threat by President Donald Trump to prohibit marketing the products on the national level.

Last week, the US government’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published a report in which it raised to 42 the death toll for people who have died from lung damage caused by consumption of electronic cigarettes, along with more than 2,000 cases of non-lethal lung damage.

Vaping among teens has been steadily increasing despite efforts by health officials to limit it, with more than 25 percent of US high school students using e-cigarettes, according to recent figures from the CDC. EFE-EPA

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