The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has engaged with the Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines (ULAP) in raising awareness on the harmful effects of vape on minors, including the illegal sale of the product. The engagement covers the launch of a communication campaign on the barangay level, with the cooperation of local government officials and the National Movement of Young Legislators (NMYL).

Aiming to effectively reach minor audiences, ULAP is set to facilitate the dissemination of information and advocacy materials through digital platforms, including social media and website, and also through the conduct of onsite and virtual meetings.

According to ULAP President and Quirino Governor Dakila E. Cua, ULAP is committed to follow through with organizing other programs that will increase public awareness and deepen education on the harmful effects of vape, especially on minors. He said that these programs will not only ensure that the message is out but also encourage public participation at the grassroots level in safeguarding minors from using vape.

For the DTI, the Department has intensified its monitoring and enforcement operations against violators of Republic Act No. 11900 or the “Vaporized Nicotine and Non-Nicotine Products Regulation Act and its Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR).

As of February 2024, 69,976 online stores and 960 physical stores have been monitored. To date, the DTI has issued Notices of Violations (NOVs) and Show Cause Orders (SCOs) to 269 physical stores, mandating them to submit a written explanation within 48 hours from their receipt of SCOs and NOVs. Additionally, 62,738 online stores were found noncompliant and were consolidated for SCO issuance.

“If we engage the public at the grassroots level and raise awareness on the harmful effects of vape, especially on minors, we can also urge them to join us in ensuring full compliance with the Vape Law,” said Trade and Industry Secretary Pascual as he noted the importance of the engagement with ULAP.

“With this initiative, citizens will be encouraged to support our efforts in safeguarding the youth from the illegal sale of vape,” the DTI secretary added.

The DTI and ULAP aspire that with the awareness and education of the public, cooperation will follow, especially for enforcement of the Vape Law. Moreover, the DTI urges consumers to report violators through the Consumer Care Hotline at DTI (1-384) or ♦

Date of release: 20 February 2024