DTI urges e-commerce platform to follow vape law

Photo from: Philstar

By Philstar

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is urging e-commerce platforms to comply with the new law regulating vaporized nicotine, non-nicotine products, and novel tobacco products.

“We appeal to all online marketplaces to police their sellers and ensure that appropriate age verification mechanisms and point of sale signages are in place, and that all listed products bear the required graphic health warnings prescribed by Republic Act 11900,” DTI-Consumer Protection Group Undersecretary Ruth Castelo said.

Republic Act 11900 or the Vaporized Nicotine and Non-Nicotine Products Regulation Act, lapsed into law on July 25, 2022, while its implementing rules and regulations (IRR) were issued by the DTI in December of the same year.

The law covers vapor products/refills, vapor product devices, heated tobacco products, HTP consumables and devices, as well as novel tobacco products.

Castelo reiterated the mandatory compliance with Joint Administrative Order 22-01, reminding all digital platforms including social media marketplaces such as Facebook/Meta, Instagram, Viber, Lazada, Shopee, Carousell, among others, that existing laws, rules, and regulations that apply to physical stores likewise apply to online stores.

The DTI said it would continue its intensified monitoring and enforcement activities to safeguard consumers and ensure that businesses are compliant with the law.

“The DTI expects the cooperation of marketplaces and e-commerce platforms to take down listings of prohibited vaporized nicotine and non-nicotine products and novel tobacco products packaged, labeled, marketed or presented with flavor descriptors that are unduly appealing to the youth, such as fruit, candy brand, dessert, cartoon character,” the agency said.

DTI-CPG recently urged all e-commerce platforms operating in the country to comply with the new law, following the increase in the number of online merchants selling prohibited items.

“In response to the recently held dialogue with the online platforms, Shopee Philippines Inc. has taken swift action and immediately implemented ongoing measures to strengthen its monitoring and policing of prohibited vaporized nicotine and non-nicotine products being advertised and sold on their platform,” the DTI said.

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