DTI flags physical, online non-compliant vape shops

By Kris Crismundo

February 6, 2024, 7:14 pm

<p><em>(PNA file photo by Joan Bondoc)</em></p>

(PNA file photo by Joan Bondoc)

MANILA – The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has flagged physical and online stores of vapes which are not compliant with Republic Act (RA) 11900, or the Vaporized Nicotine and Non-Nicotine Products Regulation Act, and its implementing rules and regulations (IRR).

In a statement Tuesday, the DTI said it has issued notices of violations (NOVs) and show cause orders (SCOs) to 296 physical vape stores between February 2023 and January 2024.

Non-compliant vape shops are more rampant online as 92 percent, or 61,000 of total 66,000 inspected online vape stores during the same period, were given SCO.

These physical and virtual stores were given 48 hours from the receipt of SCOs and NOVs to submit their written explanation.

In its enforcement operations, the DTI has confiscated a total of 18,000 vape products worth PHP5.5 million.

“The DTI focuses on retailers that fail to ensure no minor is allowed to purchase vape. The DTI has issued NOVs and SCOs to retailers for failing to verify the age of buyers and for selling vape products that are packaged, labeled, presented, or marketed with flavor descriptors that unduly appeal to minors. The DTI also flagged violators who used cartoons, anime, manga, animated characters, youth influencers, and personalities,” the agency said.

“[W]e are working double time on our enforcement operations to prevent the sale of vape to minors – that is our duty. Also, we will continue to work with our partner agencies and stakeholders to ensure that violators of RA 11900 and its IRR are penalized accordingly,” DTI Secretary Alfredo Pascual said.

To date, the DTI has received more than 200 formal charges against non-compliant vape shops, and administrative fines have been imposed to decided cases.

The DTI also reminded manufacturers, distributors, importers and retailers that the mandatory certification and registration of vape products will take effect on June 5, 2024, while the enforcement of product standards and product registration is set for 2025.
The DTI also urges stakeholders to report violators to DTI hotline 1-384 or at [email protected]. (PNA)