By CHINO S. LEYCO
Electronic cigarette-maker JUUL Labs vowed to comply with the newly enacted law imposing higher sin taxes and stricter regulations on the sale of vape products in the Philippines.
In a statement, JUUL Labs Philippines said that it already stopped the sale of its flavored e-cigarette or vape pods at all company-owed kiosks and website, adding the company will also stop fulfilling retail orders for the flavored-pods from its retail partners.
The local unit of the US-based firm that produces Mango, Creme and Mint JUULpods said it is immediately complying with Republic Act (RA) No. 11467, which raises taxes on alcohol beverages and e-cigarettes, ahead of the deadline of February 7, 2020.
In addition, to comply with RA 11467’s new minimum purchase age guidance of 21 for vaping products, JUUL Labs Philippines said it will not sell its products to anyone under the age of 21.
“JUUL Labs and its partners will continue selling the Virginia Tobacco flavor to those verified as over the age of 21,” the company said.
“JUUL Labs is supportive of measures that ensure vaping products reach only the adult smokers for whom they are intended and are not used by non-nicotine users, especially those who are underage,” it added.
Furthermore, the company said it will fully adhere to all the new excise tax rates that, as of 01 January 2020 under RA 11467, manufacturers of nicotine-based vapor products will be required to pay an additional tax of ₱37 per milliliter, or a fraction thereof, of vape liquid.
The rate will increase to ₱42 next year, ₱47 in 2022, and ₱52 in 2023. The levy will then be raised to 5 percent every year beginning 2024.
Currently, e-cigarette liquids are being taxed at ₱10 per 10 milliliter increments.
“At JUUL Labs, we are dedicated to helping the world’s one billion adult smokers transition away from combustible cigarettes while responsibly preventing underage use of our products,” the company said.