Interior Secretary Eduardo Año on Friday said he is awaiting an executive order (EO) from Malacañang before local government units implement a crackdown against the prohibition on the use and importation of e-cigarettes in the country.
“Paglabas nitong EO na hinihintay natin, maglalabas tayo ng memorandum circular kung saan ay ipag-uutos natin sa ating mga LGU na magpalabas ng ordinansa sa pagpapatupad ng (EO) (Once the EO we are waiting for is out, we will issue a memorandum circular where we will order our LGUs to pass ordinances in compliance with the EO),” Año told reporters.
“The President really wanted not only [to ban] the use of vape but even the selling of vape,” he added.
On Thursday, Philippine National Police (PNP) officer-in-charge, Lt. Gen. Archie Gamboa, clarified that those who will be arrested in the nationwide crackdown on using electronic cigarettes, popularly known as vapes, in public places will not be detained or punished.
He said a vape user, who will be arrested will be brought to a police station for blotter purposes and will be released afterward.
He said it is due to the pending issuance of another executive order indicating the punishment for those who will be caught using vapes in public places.
President Rodrigo Duterte earlier ordered law enforcers to arrest individuals who are vaping in public.
Duterte issued the directive following the first reported case of an illness related to vaping in the country.
On November 15, the DOH confirmed that a 16-year-old girl from Central Visayas who used e-cigarettes for six months suffered from E-cigarette or Vape-Associated Lung Injury (EVALI).
The girl, who allegedly complained of “sudden-onset severe shortness of breath,” met the case criteria of EVALI upon evaluation, based on the guidelines of the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.