Photo from Bureau of Customs

The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) on Sunday cautioned the public on the use of electronic cigarettes amid an upsurge of vaping products with marijuana oil.

The PDEA and other law enforcers confiscated cannabis oil and marijuana kush as well as assorted vaping products worth PHP842,000 in Taguig City on March 14.

Last week, the PDEA and the Bureau of Customs also intercepted 18 boxes containing cannabis oil and marijuana kush hidden inside e-cigarettes worth PHP337 million in Port Area, Manila.

“PDEA warns the public not to patronize marijuana-laced e-cigarettes because of the health hazards involved, and most importantly the law explicitly prohibits it,” the PDEA said in a statement.

“The proliferation of these illicit items can also expose unknowing customers to be addicted to marijuana.”

It said selling and smuggling of marijuana oil cartridges mean there is growing demand.

“Considering that the vaping culture is predominantly popular among the youth, PDEA is wary that these cannabis extracts can passed off as a legitimate vape aerosol in the market and sold to the younger patrons,” the PDEA said.

The PDEA likewise called for support from other government regulators to tighten the monitoring of the physical and online vape shops selling marijuana-flavored e-cigarettes.

In January, Health Secretary Teodoro Herbosa called on the Philippine National Police to ensure that teenagers do not have access to vapes.

Republic Act No. 9211 (Tobacco Regulation Act of 2003) and Executive Order No. 106 issued by President Rodrigo R. Duterte prohibit the sale or distribution of tobacco products within 100 meters of schools, public playgrounds, or other facilities where minors may be found. (PNA)