World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


‘Historic’ Bill To Regulate Vaping In Philippines Nears Senate

A bill that regulates the manufacture, use, sale, distribution, and promotion of vaping, as well as heated tobacco products (HTPs) has passed its second reading in the Philippines’ House of Representatives. Following its third reading, it will go to the Senate. According to consumer advocates, barring any undue outside influence, there the bill will be approved into law.

"We hope that the Senate will also support this bill to provide millions of Filipino smokers with less harmful alternatives to combustible cigarettes.”

Known as House Bill 9007, the proposed ‘Non-Combustible Nicotine Delivery Systems Regulation Act’ is a massive legislative achievement for tobacco harm reduction advocates in the Philippines, says Nancy Loucas, Executive Coordinator of the Coalition of Asia Pacific Tobacco Harm Reduction Advocates (CAPHRA).

“Nearly 90,000 Filipinos die from smoking-related diseases every year. This legislation will not only save thousands of lives, but the Philippines is now leading the way in the Asia-Pacific region with reasonable, risk proportionate regulation which will be very effective in curbing smoking rates,” says Ms Loucas.

With international evidence putting vaping at 95% less harmful than smoking, non-combustible electronic nicotine and non-nicotine delivery systems (ENDS/ENNDS) have been available in the Philippines for more than a decade. However, in 2019 the Government tried to ban the use of e-cigarettes, HTPs, and other smoke-free alternatives.

CAPHRA says once this proposed bill becomes law, it will also remove any remaining vestiges of influence from foreigners. This includes raising the age to purchase to 25, and a ban on flavours other than menthol and tobacco that was due to come into effect in May 2022.

A proposed Government ban sparked efforts by the likes of Vapers PH and Philippine E-Cigarette Industry Association (PECIA), with support from CAPHRA, to meet with House and Senate representatives on the benefits of smoke-free alternatives. They reinforced to legislators that vaping has proved be the most effective smoking cessation tool around the world, with the Philippines in desperate need of best practice policies to reduce the numbers smoking.

Consumer advocates in the Philippines promoted the regulation of e-cigarettes as a consumer product. They argued that the age of majority in the Philippines is 18 - one can purchase tobacco, alcohol and get married at 18 - so the current age to purchase of 21 was nonsensical. Supporting the minimum age for the purchase, sale and use of such products to R18 would bring vape in line with other ‘adult’ activities and privileges.

At the same time, they argued adult smokers keen to quit tobacco need reasonable access to safer alternatives and restricted advertising should be permitted. Product safety standards were also critically important to the consumer advocates.

Clarisse Virgino, the Philippine representative of CAPHRA, is delighted that the country’s legislators have listened, saying the prospect of more Filipinos successfully quitting smoking is of historic significance given the country’s stubbornly high smoking rates for decades.

“The proposed Act will legitimize the market of vaporized nicotine products which means that consumers will have better protection. We hope that the Senate will also support this bill to provide millions of Filipino smokers with less harmful alternatives to combustible cigarettes,” says Ms Virgino.

Peter Paul Dator, President of consumer group Vapers PH and CAPHRA member, is equally pleased the country’s legislators are acting. He says for too long the World Health Organization’s ‘cold turkey’ approach to smoking cessation has cost thousands of lives in low-income countries with high smoking rates.

He notes that past official statistics revealed nearly a quarter of all Filipino adults smoked. This is matched by the Philippines very low 4% smoking cessation rate - even though over three-quarters of smokers wanted or planned to quit smoking tobacco. Very few, however, were able to do so successfully.

“It’s exciting that the country is now legitimising the most effective method we have to quit smoking. For years we’ve tried strategies such as going ‘cold turkey’ counseling, and nicotine replacement therapy and our dismal national smoking rate speaks for itself,” he says.

The Vapers PH president says the Senate can be confident with the quality of work and level of consumer and industry consultation that has informed the legislation which he describes as enabling a realistic and workable regulatory framework.

“This will undoubtedly reduce serious sickness and premature death among the 16 million cigarette smokers in the Philippines by helping them to switch to a safer, smoke-free alternative. The House of Representatives has done very well, and I know the Senate is equally keen to pass evidence-based legislation that helps reduce our appallingly high smoking rates,” says Mr Dator.

Consumer groups in the Asia-Pacific region have launched a petition that urges the World Health Organisation (WHO) to respect consumer rights ahead of the next biennial meeting of the WHO Framework Convention of Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) in November. Please sign and share the petition at

For a free digital media repository on tobacco harm reduction in Asia Pacific - including media releases, images and graphics - please visit


The Coalition of Asia Pacific Tobacco Harm Advocates (CAPHRA) is a regional alliance of consumer tobacco harm reduction advocacy organizations. Its mission is to educate, advocate and represent the right of adult alternative nicotine consumers to access and use of products that reduce harm from tobacco use.

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


UN: COVID Contributed To 69,000 Malaria Deaths WHO Finds, Though ‘Doomsday Scenario’ Averted
Disruptions due to the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in considerable increases in malaria cases and deaths between 2019 and 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Monday... More>>

Save The Children: World Leaders Urged To Halt Escalating Hunger Crisis

A group of 120 non-governmental organisations has joined forces in an open letter calling on world leaders to do more to halt a devastating global hunger crisis as new analysis shows the number of people likely to be in need of humanitarian aid in 2022 could rise by 17%...More>>

WMO: Another La Niña Impacts Temperatures And Precipitation – But Not Climate Change
La Niña has developed for the second consecutive year and is expected to last into early 2022, influencing temperatures and precipitation. Despite the cooling influence of this naturally occurring climate phenomenon, temperatures in many parts of the world are expected to be above average because of the accumulated heat trapped in the atmosphere...

Cook Islands: First COVID Case "historical"

The 10 year old child who provided two ‘weak positive’ covid test results after arriving in Rarotonga last Thursday, has returned a negative result in his latest test. That means he’s not infectious and this is an historical case... More>>

Oxfam: Failure To Vaccinate The World Created Perfect Breeding Ground For Omicron, Say Campaigners

Campaigners from the People’s Vaccine Alliance say the refusal of pharmaceutical companies to openly share their vaccine science and technology and the lack of action from rich countries to ensure access to vaccines globally have created the perfect breeding ground for new variants such as Omicron... More>>

World Food Programme: Millions More In Need Of Food Assistance As A Direct Result Of Conflict In Northern Ethiopia

The number of people in need of humanitarian food assistance across northern Ethiopia has grown to an estimated 9.4 million as a direct result of ongoing conflict, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) announced today... More>>