The province has approved for enactment a proposed ordinance that will regulate the use and sale of any vaporized and heated tobacco products (VHTPs).
The ordinance, authored by Board Member Ryan Maminta, seeks to regulate the use and selling of VHTPs in any public places including conveyances, advertisements, and promotions.
VHTPs are tobacco products that use inhalation devices, produce aerosols, and contain nicotine and other chemicals.
Maminta pushed for regulation, citing the Public Health England and the British Lung Foundation as examples in regulatory policies.
He said that regulation aims to minimize the threat on public health.
“We are just regulating, meaning pwede pa rin — hindi naman bawal dahil wala naman pagbabawal. It’s just that they should not be done in public places, at ang mga nagbebenta ay may mga susundin din naman, ‘yon lang naman ang goal natin kaya ire-regulate,” he said earlier.
Under Section 2 of the ordinance , the use of VHTPs will be prohibited in places of worship, hospitals or other health care centers, public conveyances, and educational o recreational facilities primarily intended for minors.
All enclosed places that are open to the general public, private workplaces, and other places not covered by Section 2 should have designated areas for vaping.
“Nakikita natin na kung saan-saan lang ang mga ito. Smoking should be confined in a place na hindi public. ‘Yong mga establishments ay dapat may designated areas para dito lalo na ‘yong mga tourist destinations natin,” he said.
Under the proposal, it shall be unlawful for any retailer to sell or distribute VHTPs to any individual below 21-years-old, to purchase from a minor, for a minor to sell, and any person below 21 to purchase VHTPs.
Promotions such as cinema, television, radio, and others, should not also be allowed.
A fine of P500 will be imposed for the first offense or one-day community service; P2,500 or two and half-day community service for the second offense, and P2,500 or five days community services, the business permits and licenses may be canceled, for the third and final offense.
Maminta said the approved ordinance will be implemented as soon as it sign by Governor Jose Chaves Alvarez.
“After the signature of the Governor, it will be effective and ready for implementation,” Maminta said.