NCRPO nabs 22 vapers; warns 51 vape stores without permits
MANILA, Philippines — The National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) has arrested 22 persons for vaping in public areas and warned 51 stores operating without necessary permits to stop selling vape products or face closure.
NCRPO acting director Brig. Gen. Debold Sinas said the data cover November 19, when President Rodrigo Duterte banned the importation of vape and its use in public places, until Monday, November 25.
“They (store owners) were already advised to refrain from selling the item or they (stores) would be closed because our chiefs of police have coordinated with the local government in inquiring for their permits to sell vape items,” he said in a press briefing Tuesday.
Another 72 vape stores operating in Metro Manila without business permits have been closed and barred from opening shop since the President verbally issued the ban on the importation of vape and vaping in public.
The Philippine National Police (PNP), meanwhile, has recorded the arrest of 243 individuals for vaping in public areas as of Sunday, November 24.
The arrested persons were brought to police stations and their offense recorded in the police blotter, but they were released afterward, in compliance with the process ordered by PNP officer-in-charge Lt. Gen. Archie Gamboa to officers in the ground.
Some 318 vape devices and 666 vape juices were also confiscated by the police during the same period.
Police are referring to Duterte’s verbal order, Executive Order No. 26 banning smoking in public areas, the Clean Air Act, Tobacco Regulation Act, and Presidential Decree 984 – issued by late President Ferdinand Marcos in 1976 – as bases for the arrests.