Over 2K e-cigarette stores closed in Metro due to vape ban

MANILA — More than 2,000 vape stores in Metro Manila were closed since the implementation of the vape ban last year, the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) chief said on Friday.

In a press conference at the Quezon City Police District, Maj. Gen. Debold Sinas said a total of 2,188 stores visited by the police have been closed since November 2019.

“The operations still continue. We continue monitoring these vape stores,” Sinas said.

Sinas said so far, many stores have complied with the order.

President Rodrigo Duterte earlier ordered law enforcers to arrest persons who are vaping in public.

The President issued the directive following the first reported case of an illness related to vaping in the country.

In November last year, the Department of Health 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 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.

On January 22, the President signed Republic Act 11467 which imposes higher excise tax rates on alcohol, heated tobacco, and vape products to generate funds for the government’s universal health care (UHC) program.

The Department of Finance earlier estimated that higher taxes on vape, tobacco, and liquor would generate PHP47.9 billion for the UHC program in 2020, and a total of PHP356.9 billion for the program over the next five years.  Christopher Lloyd Caliwan /PNA – northboundasia.com