PHILIPPINE National Police chief, General Archie Francisco F. Gamboa yesterday ordered all 17 police regional offices to strictly enforce President Duterte’s Executive Order 106 which banned the use of vapes and other E-cigarettes in public areas.
“The PNP is well prepared to assist the Food and Drug Administration and the Department of Trade and Industry in implementing EO 106,” said the top cop.
From November 25 last year up to last Thursday, the National Capital Region Police Office headed by Major Gen. Debold M. Sinas had already conducted over 14,100 anti-vape operations in Metro Manila which led in the confiscation of 207 vape gadgets. A total of 207 people found using vapes in public were also accosted by the NCRPO.
Sinas said they also visited 4,174 vape stores and other establishments during the period and closed 2,196 of them with the support of local government units after they were found to be violating different city and municipal ordinances. Another 392 were also recommended for closure for the same reason, the NCPRO chief said.
PNP spokesman, Brigadier Gen. Bernard M. Banac said that all directives on the enforcement of nationwide ban on smoking tobacco products and the use of vapes and e-cigarettes in public places previously issued by the PNP high command to all police units remain in effect.
“We urge the public to help in government’s advocacy under EO 106 and report to the police any violator,” Banac said.
On Friday, President Duterte signed EO 106 which amended EO 26 which prohibited smoking of cigarettes in enclosed areas such as schools, elevators and stairwells, fire hazard locations and medical facilities.
The Commander-in-Chief likewise banned the use of unregistered vape in public and enclosed places nationwide. Vaping is no longer allowed except in designated smoking areas, which may be an open space or area with proper ventilation.
EO 106 also regulated the sale, manufacture, marketing, distribution and importation of unregistered electronic nicotine devices and other novel tobacco products, citing serious health threats to those who are exposed to smoke.
All e-liquid solutions, electronic cigarettes and vaping devices shall be registered with the FDA, the order said adding that firms must first secure a license from the FDA before they can be allowed to operate.
The directive banned establishments from selling e-cigarettes and other tobacco products to a person aged 21 years old and below.
The Department of Health has pushed for a total ban on e-cigarettes, saying there is still not enough hard evidence to support the health claims of the e-cigarette industry that vapes do not cause harmful effects on human health.
DoH defines e-cigarette as a product “made of plastic and metal device that heats a liquid nicotine solution (e-juice) in a disposable cartridge. It creates a tiny light on the tip, even glows like a real cigarette, and produces a vapor that stimulates the act of smoking.”