Raise minimum age for vaping products users to 25, gov’t urged
MANILA, Philippines — The government is being urged to raise the minimum age of people allowed to use vaping products to 25.
During a hearing of the Senate committee on sustainable development goals, innovation, and futures thinking on Friday, Southeast Asia Tobacco Control Alliance Executive Director Dr. Ulysses Dorotheo issued the proposal to lawmakers.
“[T]o raise the minimum age to 25 which is the cut-off for adolescent brain development so as to reduce the risk of nicotine addiction,” he said.
Currently, individuals as young as 18 years old may legally smoke vaping products in the Philippines.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) backed the suggestion of Dorotheo.
To further protect the youth from using vaping products, the physician also recommended to legislators the “banning [of] anything that is attractive to young people” such as flavors and additives.
He also wants the introduction of “standardized packaging” on vaping products – removing colors, scents, and indications of flavors.
Restricting the sales of vaping products online is likewise pushed by Dorothero, noting it “is where our youth spend much of their time.”
Further, Dorotheo sought to increase the excise taxes on vaping products, pointing out that a lower tax rate is levied on such items compared to tobacco products.
The doctor eventually emphasized that the “long-term ideal outcome” is to ban vaping products.
Also during the Senate panel hearing presided over by Senator Pia Cayetano, the FDA said they want the jurisdiction of vape regulation transferred to them. Currently, vape regulation is mandated under the Department of Trade and Industry.
Cayetano’s committee is investigating supposed breaches of companies or businesses selling vaping products that are packaged to captivate the youth.