PARAÑAQUE CITY, PHILIPPINES – In a joint operation conducted on April 23, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Philippine National Police-Southern Police District seized a total of 45,200 units of non-compliant vaporized nicotine, non-nicotine, and novel tobacco products valued at almost PHP 25 million.

The buy-bust enforcement operation confiscated 452 boxes of vapes, each containing 100 units, valued at PHP 550 per unit, totaling PHP 24,860,000.

The DTI-led inspection revealed that the establishment, which branded itself as a milk tea beverage outlet, was located near an elementary school. This establishment violated Section 9 of the Vape Law or Republic Act (RA) No. 11900, which prohibits the sale of vape products within one hundred (100) meters of areas frequented by minors. It also violated Section 12 by packaging, labeling, presenting, and marketing vape products with flavor descriptors that appeal to minors.

Moreover, the inspection revealed that the shop was selling banned Flava products, packaged with flavor descriptors.

The DTI had previously issued a Preliminary Order against Flava Corporation, halting its operations on March 15, 2024, pursuant to Executive Order No. 913 and Department Order No. 07, Series of 2006.
These enforcement efforts aim to safeguard the consuming public, particularly minors, from illegal vape sales and ensure compliance with the Vape Law and its implementing rules and regulations.

“This enforcement operation with the PNP-Southern Police District, confiscating PHP 25 million in illegal vapes near a school, reflects our firm commitment under the Vaporized Nicotine and Non-Nicotine Products Regulation Act to safeguard our youth,” said DTI Secretary Fred Pascual.

“We remain vigilant and determined in enforcing these regulations to ensure community health and safety,” he added.

From February 09 2023 to April 23, 2024, the DTI monitored 84,523 physical and online vape establishments, confiscating 65,865 vape units with an estimated value of PHP 31 million.

Of the monitored online and physical firms, 298 were issued with Notices of Violation (NOV), while 493 were issued with Show Cause Orders (SCOs). These non-compliant firms are required to submit a written explanation within 48 hours of receipt of SCOs and NOVs.

RA 11900 vests the regulatory jurisdiction over vapes and other novel tobacco products to the DTI. Meanwhile, the Department of Health, Food and Drug Administration, Department of Social Welfare and Development, Department of Education, Bureau of Internal Revenue, and local government units (LGUs) share complementary implementing roles.

The DTI urges consumers to report consumer-related violations or retailers, distributors, and manufacturers who sell uncertified items through the Consumer Care Hotline at DTI (1-384) or Consumers can also file any consumer-related complaints through the Philippine Online Dispute Resolution System at ♦

Date of release: 25 April 2024