February 7, 2023

The City Health Services Office and Smoke-Free Task Force of Baguio City welcomes the latest order of Pres. Rodrigo Duterte, which increases the age limit of individuals who may have access to cigarettes and vape products from 18 to 21 years old.
The President recently issued Executive Order 106 on Feb. 26, which amends his earlier EO 26, prohibiting the manufacture, distribution, marketing, and sale of prohibited and/or unadulterated electronic nicotine/non-nicotine delivery systems, heated tobacco products, and other novel tobacco products. It will take effect 15 days after publication.
Dr. Donnabel Tubera-Panes of the CHSO said the latest EO features more stringent rules, such as increasing the age of access, which means banning the sale of all related products to persons below 21 years old.
“Scientifically, the brain of an 18-year old is still immature, so impulses are still low. What we are really protecting in this EO is the youth. We are targeting the young adults who are not supposed to start smoking and because they can be easily enticed. Vape companies promoted to them new products, because there was no regulation. Now, the President responded to the call to increase age access to these products,” Panes said.
The EO also requires vape distributors or sellers to register their products, including its ingredients, with the Department of Health-Food and Drug Administration, which would now be an additional requirement in getting a business permit.
It also directs a common designated area for smoking and vaping, instead of separate spaces, among other additional provisions.
Panes said the Smoke-Free Task Force will come up with guidelines in implementing the EO along with the city’s Smoke-Free Ordinance, which has been noted for significantly reducing smoking in public places and effectively restricting the sale of tobacco and vape products in the city.
She said the challenge now for the city is regulating online selling. For this, she said they will ask for the assistance of the National Bureau of Investigation in coming up with possible ways of regulating online sale of these products.
The city will conduct massive information campaign on the latest anti-smoking policies. – Hanna C. Lacsamana