Tolentino: Regulate vape products before imposing more taxes
MANILA, Philippines — The government must first issue rules on regulating vape products before considering imposing more taxes on them, Sen. Francis Tolentino said Sunday.
Senate Bill No. 1074, which seeks to impose additional taxes on vaping products and e-cigarettes, is being deliberated on at the Senate. Under the bill, the revenues from the additional taxes will be used to fund the implementation of the Universal Health Care law.
“We don’t have regulation yet or even laws that allow vaping and vaping products in the country. How can we tax something that is not yet even legal?” Tolentino, speaking in Filipino, said in an interview aired over AM radio station DZBB,
“Why would we impose a tax on something and allow it to enter the markets if it’s not even legal?” he added.
The senator also pointed out that using vape products could have adverse effects on one’s health. He noted that several countries had already banned such products.
He also cited studies in the United States stating that Vitamin E acetate, a chemical found in vaping products, could cause lung injuries.
Vaping products also contain tetrahydrocannabinol which causes hallucinations, much like in marijuana, Tolentino added.
“Why would we let a product enter into our markets when there is no evidence yet that would prove that is it harmless?” he said.
While there is no proof yet as to the safety in using vaping products, Tolentino suggested that these be temporarily banned first, following other countries that have classified vaping products as “poisonous.”
“We can have it banned first until we have definite knowledge about its medical effects,” he said.
Last August, the House of Representatives passed on third and final reading its version of the bill.
President Rodrigo Duterte also called on Congress to pass the remaining tax reform packages, including those that impose additional taxes on alcohol and tobacco products.
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