Ban on sale of e-cigarettes to minors in Quezon City pushed
MANILA, Philippines—A Quezon City councilor is seeking the inclusion of electronic cigarettes, or e-cigarettes, among tobacco and related products banned for sale to minors, amending a 16-year-old ordinance that imposes negligible penalties, including minimal fines, on violators.
In her draft amendment to the 1998 ordinance, fifth district councilor Julienne Alyson Rae Medina proposed to include e-cigarettes among such items as cigarettes, cigars, and other tobacco products whose sale to minors is currently prohibited.
Medina also asked her peers to support the measure, which punishes violators with imprisonment for up to one month, a fine of P5,000 and possible revocation of one’s business permit. The penalties provided by the existing ordinance include fines ranging from P200 to P700 and suspensions of a violator’s business license.
In her proposed ordinance, the councilor cited studies indicating the potential dangers that e-cigarettes pose to both users and non-users who inhale chemical vapors emanating from the devices.
Medina pointed out that it was in the best interest and welfare of the city’s children for the e-cigarettes, along with cigarettes and other tobacco products, to be banned for sale to minors.
Her draft ordinance defines an e-cigarette as any electronic device that emits a vapor of liquid nicotine or other substances so a user can simulate smoking. It includes other devices with a similar mechanism manufactured as “e-cigar,” “e-pipe,” or any other product name.
Under the draft measure a person, business entity or establishment distributing or selling e-cigarettes or any other tobacco products to minors are to be fined P5,000 or imprisoned for not more than a month. For a violator’s subsequent offenses he is to be penalized with both penalties as well as the revocation of his business permit.
The 1998 ordinance only slapped a P200 fine or at most 10 days of imprisonment for a first offense; P500 fine or 11 to 20 days of imprisonment for a second offense and suspension of a violator’s business permit for 11 to 20 days; and a P700 fine or imprisonment of 21 to 30 days or both as well as the revocation of the business permit for a year.
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