Lt. Gen. Archie Gamboa, PNP officer-in-charge said he already ordered all police commanders nationwide to apprehend vape or e-cigarettes users smoking in public no-smoking areas beginning today, Wednesday, November 20.
The Philippine National Police (PNP) ordered the nationwide crackdown following President Duterte’s order to ban the use and importation of vape or e-cigarettes.
Gamboa said police visibility in all public areas, especially school vicinities, to apprehend anyone who would violate Duterte’s ban on vape or e-cigarettes in non-smoking areas.
“This serves as a warning to them that they (vape users) either follow the law or totally stop from using e-cigarette because of its hazardous effects on their health,” said Gamboa.
Duterte said the said vape and other nicotine devices could be a threat to public health.
“You know why? Because it is toxic, and government has the power to issue measures to protect public health and public interest,” the President added.
PNP starts penalizing vape, e-cigarettes users smoking in public today
Duterte also said law enforcers would arrest anyone who would use vape or e-cigarettes in public.
“Better stop it because I will order your arrest if you do it in a room. I am now ordering the law-enforcement agencies to arrest anybody vaping in public. That is like smoking,” Duterte added.
According to Gamboa, he instructed the policemen to confiscate vape or e-cigarettes from those who will smoke in public areas.
He also said vaping is similar to smoking in public, which is covered by Executive Order 26, which bans smoking in public places.
“I also instructed my commanders to start visiting local e-cigarettes stores in their respective areas of jurisdiction,” said Gamboa.
“The objective is to remind or warn the owners to take the initiative of warning their clients not to use them in public,” he added.
Malacanang, however, has yet to issue an order and guidelines on the President’s order against the importation, sale, and use of e-cigarettes.