Massive Win as Philippines' Vape Bill is Enacted

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Massive Win as Philippines’ Vape Bill is Enacted

On 25th July, 2022, the Philippines’ “Vape Bill” was enacted, aiming to regulate the import, sale, manufacture, distribution, and use of e-cigarette and heated tobacco products. The bill is being welcomed by activists as a step in the right direction toward embracing harm reduction strategies.

The Philippines enacted a bill on the 25th of July in a step toward promoting vaping and heated tobacco products as effective harm reduction strategies. The bill importantly focuses on imposing age restrictions on nicotine products for those under 18 years of age, ensuring that current adult smokers have access to these less harmful alternatives to cigarettes while combatting youth usage.

Liza Katsiashvili, the community manager at the World Vapers’ Alliance, said in a press release: “While most policymakers are misinformed and fight against vaping, the Philippines followed the right path to embrace vaping as an effective harm reduction innovation to save lives. Other countries should follow this example and endorse smart vaping policies to ensure improved public health for millions of consumers globally.”

Every year, smoking kills nearly 100,000 people in the Philippines. This progressive bill seeks to embrace vaping as a safer nicotine alternative to smoking, and in the process, should help the country cut down on smoking-related illnesses, diseases, and hopefully, death.

Anton Israel, founder of the Nicotine Consumption Union of the Philippines (NCUP), said: “Vapers in the Philippines are celebrating a huge victory! We believe that the vape bill is a healthcare strategy that promotes a consumer choice and opportunity for smokers to enjoy safer alternatives to combustible tobacco. The decision of the government to encourage vaping instead of discouraging it will bring huge public health benefits for the country.”

Why is the Philippines’ Vape Bill such a big deal?

It’s everyone’s greatest hope that this vape bill will help improve public health in a nation where 28% of all adults are smokers, including almost half of all adult men (48% or 14.6 million) and roughly 9% (2.8 million) of adult women. This is a huge population of adult smokers in the Philippines who, until now, had restricted access to safer nicotine alternatives.

Tobacco Use in the Philippines (2009) Male Female Overall
Current tobacco smokers
Daily tobacco smokers
Average number of cigarettes smoked per day (by daily users)

Furthermore, second-hand smoke exposure is a massive issue in the Philippines, even among non-smokers. More than half (55%) of all adults who used public transportation a month prior to the government survey were exposed to second-hand smoke, while 37% of those who visited government buildings or offices were exposed to second-hand smoke.

We know that “passive vaping” causes no harm to bystanders, so it’s a great hope among harm reduction advocates in the Philippines that more adult smokers will take up these safer alternatives like vaping, which will in turn lead to less second-hand smoke exposure in public for non-smokers—including children.

With the Philippines’ vape bill also comes education about safer alternatives to smoking, which will rank the country among the world’s leading nations in tobacco harm reduction. The bill aims to regulate communication about vaping and heated tobacco products, which should, in theory, help consumers make more informed choices about their options for smoking cessation aids.

And given the fact that over 48% of adult smokers in the government survey said that they’d tried to quit in the last 12 months—with just 5% reporting that their quit attempt was successful—this will be a welcome change which should encourage more smokers to make the switch and get off the cigarettes for good.

The World Vapers’ Alliance’s press release concludes with this sentiment: “World Vapers’ Alliance stands with the decision of the Philippines senate to embrace life-saving innovation and ensure access to less harmful nicotine delivery products for the consumers, thus creating an opportunity to drastically improve public health over the years and save thousands of lives.”

Philippines Vape Bill Enacted

Conclusion: Filipino Vapers Rejoice!

It’s so nice to hear some world vaping news that isn’t catastrophic for once, eh?

Far from the world of the UK “news” media and the popcorn lung kerfuffle, we have a heart-warming story of a country embracing the harm reduction strategies it so desperately needs, which will mean fewer deaths among the Philippines’ adult population while also regulating sales to minors.

Thank goodness—let’s hope word spreads and we see more countries embrace this safer nicotine alternative.

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