The Department of Education (DepEd) on Thursday appealed to President Rodrigo Duterte to veto the Vaporized Nicotine Products Regulation Act approved by the Senate in December 2021.
The bill proposes to lower to 18 years old the minimum age for e-cigarette use.
It also requires buyers of vape products to present valid IDs indicating their age and birth date.
The DepEd said the bill was “anti-health” and claimed it would weaken existing laws on e-cigarettes or vapes.
“If passed into law, the bill will erode the important provisions already set forth in Republic Act No. 11467 and Executive Order No. 106, both signed by the President in 2020. The law and the executive order already regulate electronic nicotine/non-nicotine delivery systems, heated tobacco products, and other novel tobacco items,” the DepEd said.
Nearly two million students in the basic education sector and senior high school will be legally allowed to purchase vapes and related products once the bill becomes law, the DepEd said.
“We teach in schools how the part of the brain that is responsible for rational decisions does not fully develop until one is in their mid-twenties. Before that age, young people are very vulnerable to engaging in risky behaviors such as substance use and abuse,” it said. John Ezekiel J. Hirro