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Filipino lawmakers praised for adopting ‘most progressive’ vape laws in the Asia Pacific region

By Patrick Griffin 28th December 2022 3 Mins

As Filipino lawmakers win praise for adopting the ‘most progressive’ vape laws in the Asia Pacific region, could Malaysia and Thailand be next?

The Filipino government is being lauded as an ‘international leader in tobacco harm reduction’ after enacting comprehensive new vape legislation.

It now has some of the ‘most progressive’ laws in the region and advocates say other Asia Pacific countries should follow suit.

Since July, the importation, manufacture, sale, packaging, distribution, use and communication of vaping and heated tobacco products have all been regulated.

Supporters of the move say it will go a long way to save the lives of many of the country’s 16 million smokers.

Peter Dator, President of consumer group Vapers PH, said the measures provided ‘viable alternatives for smokers desperate to quit’ while protecting minors, helping eradicate black markets and ensuring safety standards.

Dator said:

“Our nation has endured a terrible smoking epidemic for decades with nearly 90,000 Filipinos dying annually from smoking-related diseases.

By adopting a successful THR strategy we now join about 70 countries worldwide which are all seeing smoking rates fall.

This is truly a landmark piece of legislation which I hope other countries now follow. Embracing vaping is the only way to eradicate smoking.”

The Coalition of Asia Pacific Tobacco Harm Reduction Advocates (CAPHRA) said if the Philippines could legalise vaping then any country could.

Previously the country had considered outright vaping bans, flavour bans or increasing the minimum purchase age to 25.

CAPHRA’s Executive Coordinator Nancy Loucas said:

“Enacting some of the most progressive vaping legislation in Asia Pacific now makes the Philippines an international leader in effective Tobacco Harm Reduction.

“This is a massive wake-up call for other countries to also enable smokers to switch to safer nicotine products.

“Science has won over scaremongering, and we’re hoping to see a similar result in Malaysia and Thailand soon.”

A recent Vapers PH survey revealed that 94 percent of respondents wanted government support to help adult smokers quit.

Dator added:

“The Government has finally hit our smoking epidemic where it hurts.

“Vaping is an incredibly effective smoking cessation tool, giving Filipinos their best chance to quit deadly combustible cigarettes for good.

“It’s well established that the Philippines has been a target of American billionaires and their so-called philanthropic foundations fuelling anti-vaping sentiment.

“Our leaders have now stood up to the bullies with a legacy that will endure for generations”

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Patrick Griffin