July 23, 2024

The Department of Trade and Industry is spearheading a robust whole-of-government approach to enforce the Vape Law and safeguard Filipino minors from the health risks of vaping.

This strategy prioritizes collaboration with various government agencies to ensure effective nationwide implementation.

“This comprehensive effort leverages the combined strength of various government agencies, with our enforcement unit actively conducting surveillance across markets throughout the country,” said DTI Sec. Fred Pascual.

The DTI is working with the Department of Education to tackle the concerning rise in vaping among Filipino youth.

The collaboration will leverage DepEd’s reach to educate students on the dangers of vaping, while the DTI will continue its focus on cracking down on the illegal sale of these vape products near schools.

To combat the disturbing trend of marijuana-laced vape products, the DTI is joining forces with the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, equipping the DTI-Fair Trade Enforcement Bureau with specialized training in surveillance and monitoring techniques, which are instrumental in identifying and apprehending sellers of these illicit substances.

The DTI will also partner with the Department of the Interior and Local Go-vernment and local government units to bolster enforcement efforts.

As a result of coordination meetings, the DTI and local enforcement teams are set to conduct joint vape enforcement operations, followed by ongoing efforts to establish a centralized and comprehensive LGU registry of licensed vape shops.

To ensure a more effective and cohesive nationwide enforcement strategy, a unified enforcement protocol is also being developed by the DTI and DILG.

This standardized approach will encompass monitoring violators, sharing intelligence, and coordinating enforcement activities among enforcement forces.

In addition, a widespread awareness campaign is being launched by the DTI, DILG, and LGUs to raise awareness about the Vape Law, its regulations, and relevant city ordinances.

Extending its commitment to protecting consumers in the digital space, the DTI met with e-commerce platforms and urged them to implement stricter measures to combat the sale of illegal vape products online. These measures include taking down online merchants selling illicit vape-related items and enforcing stricter age verification procedures.

“Our priority remains safeguarding the health and well-being of our future generation. Let this serve as a strong warning that the DTI will not tolerate blatant disregard for the Vape Law,” Pascual added.

Republic Act 11900 or the Vaporized Nicotine and Non-Nicotine Products Regulation Act, commonly known as the Vape Law, prohibits the sale and promotion of vape products within 100 meters of activity areas frequented by minors.

It also bans flavor descriptors and cartoon characters in the packaging, labeling, and marketing of vapes that unduly appeal to minors.

With the DTI having primary jurisdiction in enforcing the Vape Law, its Fair Trade Group ensures the coordination of vape-related efforts with relevant agencies as necessitated by emerging issues in an evolving marketplace.

RA 11900 vests complementary implementing roles to the Department of Health, Food and Drug Administration, Department of Social Welfare and Development, DepEd, Bureau of Internal Revenue, and LGUs.

The DTI encourages the public to report violators, including retailers, distributors, and manufacturers selling uncertified items through the Consumer Care Hotline at DTI (1-384), or [email protected]. – Press release