Vape Shops Now Under Close Watch After Violations
There is a lot of work to be done in monitoring and validating vape shops as the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) admits that 26,986 stores are still undergoing physical validation.
Believe it or not, only 229 out of the total 583 validated physical vape stores in the country have been declared as compliant by the government. In fact, the number gets worse for online shops, since only 175 out of 28,584 are compliant as of June 1, 2023.
This has prompted the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to tighten its watch on vape shops to ensure that they are in compliance with Republic Act No. 11900—also known as the Vaporized Nicotine and Non-Nicotine Products Regulation Act.
The agency explains that the reason they are being strict with its monitoring is so that it can “ensure that minors will not have access to these substances online.”
“We aim to balance the interest of both businesses or manufacturers and also protect our youth from these harmful substances,” DTI Secretary Alfredo Pascual says.
Violations Made by Vape Shops
Several violations made by vape shops have been discovered by the government thanks to its close monitoring. These include acts that violate the following:
- Prohibition on the use of nicotine and non-nicotine products in public places
- Restrictions on product communication, advertisements, and sponsorships
- Rules on product packaging requirements
- Sale of vaporized nicotine and non-nicotine products, their devices, or novel tobacco products
As a result of such violations, the DTI’s Fair Trade Enforcement Bureau (FTEB) has already confiscated 13,784 products from non-compliant stores. These products are said to be worth around PHP 4.25 million. Aside from these, 72 shops have already received notices of violation or show cause orders from the agency.
The FTEB has also received 74 formal charges as of June 1. And 73 of these formal charges have been filed against physical vape shops, while one has been filed against an online store.
What This Means for Vape Shops in the Philippines
With the government now tightly enforcing the law, particularly Republic Act No. 11900, vape shops have the responsibility of complying with existing rules and regulations. From a business standpoint, doing so will allow shops to smoothly and responsibly run their businesses with less headache from the government.
Complying with the country’s laws on nicotine use also safeguards the interest of the consumers, especially their health. An estimated number of 2.7 million Filipinos are using e-cigarettes or vaping devices, and this is no small number. Ensuring that the vape devices and e-cigarettes in the market are compliant with rules means that the products being used by millions of Filipinos are up to standard.