/ 6 June 2024

SURIGAO del Norte Second District Rep. Robert Ace Barbers stressed the need to prohibit all flavors of vape that are enticing to minors.

At the same time, the solon sought the explanation of the vape product manufacturer and importer Flava Corporation on serious violations of the country’s vaping law.

This was after the Department of Trade and Industry reported that Flava Corp. was cited for violations when it sold flavored vape products that are expressly prohibited under the law.

“This Flava Corp. has been under investigation by the House for its reported tax evasion. Now here comes DTI finding the same corporation guilty, if news articles are to be relied on, for selling vapes with prohibited flavors that are considered dangerously appealing to minors,” Barbers said.

Barbers, chairman of the House Committee on Dangerous Drugs, said that under Republic Act 11900, only tobacco and mint flavors are allowed.

The lawmaker further added that all other flavors that are enticing to minors and non-smokers are prohibited since the objective of the law is to wean tobacco smokers from smoking and shift them to less harmful vape products.

“If enticing flavors are allowed, previous non-smokers and minors might pick-up the vape habit which is not good either since it was never intended to be a healthy substitute to tobacco smoking as vape is not healthy at all with all its chemical composition,” he added.

The solon also received reports that liquid shabu and other addictive psychoactive substances are allegedly being smuggled and added to vape juice by some unscrupulous traders to their vape products.

Barbers cited a very recent first case of death brought about by severe lung injury attributed to vaping, which has been recorded in the country and it happened to a very young 22-year-old vaper.

Barbers reminded the youth that vaping is no better than smoking.

“Serious health damage can happen to vape users who pick up this habit,” he said.