President Rodrigo Duterte said Friday that there is no need for him to issue an executive order regarding his verbal statement that bans importation and public use of e-cigarettes or vapes as the law covers it already.
However, the specific law was not mentioned. He just explained that there is a law that regulates the use of products with nicotine.
“I do not have to issue an executive order. Pagkab*b* nitong mga g*g* na ito na meron nang law about nicotine,” Duterte said in a speech during the inauguration of a coal plant in Maasin, Sarangani.
“If you use vaping in public, there is nicotine. And so with other chemical combustion there, you are already violating the law in vaping because it contains nicotine,” he said.
Most likely, the president is referring to the Tobacco Regulation Act of 2003.
Some vapes that are being sold in the country are being advertised as nicotine-free.
Anyone could challenge his verbal order in court, according to the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP), which “pissed” the president that led him to explain the matter.
“You know, do not listen to those lawyer[s]… Bugok na ‘yon slia. You happen to elect one of the, not really bright,” he said.
“Remember, I was a prosecutor for many years. Kung hindi ba tanga ‘yong mga p******** ‘yan,” he added.
Duterte warns the judiciary branch
The order he verbally announced is like a counterpart of vape to the tobacco cigarettes, which the president banned nationwide last 2017.
Duterte gave a warning to court judges to not interfere as he aims to protect the health of the public.
“The e-cigarette is making it worse. There are chemicals that are added to nicotine which we do not know. And I am not about ready to allow the young people of the Philippines to get sick and to die,” Duterte said last Wednesday.
Under the Consumer Act of the Philippines, Duterte said that he can ban the importation of e-cigarettes.
“Why am I ordering its confiscation? Because it is strong to the consumers and under the consumer protection act, if the thing we are importing is prohibited by the place where it was made, then automatically it is also not good and it should be by operation of common sense if it is bawal sa Vermont, California,” he said.
“If the thing is not legal there where it was made or manufactured, then it cannot be legal,” Duterte explained.
Upon his order, PNP is now executing arresting vapers caught vaping in public. However, no charges can be filed against them. They would be released after the violation has been recorded.