The AKO Bicol Party-list filed House Bill No. 3330 or the Vaporized Nicotine Product Regulation Act of 2016. If passed into law, manufacturers of vaporized nicotine products will be required to register their products with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) for quality control. The bill also mandates the creation of a new product category with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to remove it from the ambit of the “health-related devices” category, taking away the rigidity of medicine licensing but with stricter standards than consumer product regulation.
“These vaporized nicotine products used for ‘vaping’, as millennials so fondly call it, may be safer than conventional smoking but that is not wholly true”, said AKO Bicol Representative Rodel Batocabe, “these products still carry risk with them, as the technology used may still be defective and the substance used still contains nicotine”.
The Bicol solon, cursorily inspecting one of e-cigarettes, pointed out the device may still be liable for exploding batteries and electrical defects. Further, the e-juices used in cartridges for the e-cigarettes contain amounts of harmful substances such as formaldehyde, acetaldehyde, and potentially toxic nanoparticles from the vaporizing mechanism .
“This is not to cast e-cigarettes in the same light as cigarettes, as multiple studies have shown that these devices can be a gateway to smoking reduction”, said Batocabe, “what we want here is regulation, since practically anyone can just buy an e-cigarette without knowing of the potential hazards that it may pose”.
Aside from regulatory testing by the FDA on the chemicals and by the DTI on the technology used in e-cigarettes, the bill will also mandate the inclusion of a warning on the packages of these e-cigarettes, saying ‘This product may damage your health and is addictive’.
“As it stands, we do not have any concrete proof or studies to conclusively say these e-cigarettes are neither hazardous or safe, so we can benefit from a thorough assessment by the FDA”, said Batocabe, “there is some worry that these are casually sold in malls and shops without the requisite and proper government regulation”.