By Bohol Island News Staff| 10:35 PM November 20, 2019
The Bohol Provincial Police (PNP) has ordered a province crackdown on the use of electronic cigarettes, popularly known as vapes, following President Duterte’s order to ban their importation over public health issues.
Col. Jonathan Cabal, director of the BPPO, ordered the chiefs of police to confiscate vapes which are being used publicly.
Although there are few vapers in Bohol compared to Cebu, he had already ordered all police to increase police visibility in all public places, particularly the vicinity of schools, and to run after those who would dare to vape in no-smoking areas.
The Police Regional Office 7 under the leadership of Police Brig. Gen. Valeriano de Leon ordered all his commanders to intensify the conduct of police visibility in public places to protect the public from those puffing electronic cigarettes.
“I am ordering my men to arrest those who will smoke e-cigarettes and confiscate vapes in public places in Central Visayas region. As what President Duterte said, this is an issue of public health and your police have this obligation to protect the people from the negative effects of the smoke coming from vapers,” de Leon said.
De Leon’s order came after President Rodrigo Roa Duterte stated that he would ban the importation of e-cigarettes and the use of vapes in public places.
De Leon said that what happened to the 16-year old girl from Central Visayas, which was the first confirmed case of illness from vaping in the Philippines, should serve as a wake-up call for the police and other government agencies to act together to protect the public.
At the same time, he said it should also serve as a warning to the vapers to think twice before using e-cigarettes.
“There is the Executive Order 26 and this will be used to run after these vapers. They should not do it in public, otherwise, they will end up in police stations,” the PRO7 director said.
De Leon also ordered his commanders to coordinate with barangay captains in order to use the barangay tanods as augmentation forces in implementing President Duterte’s order against vapers.
“We need to work together on this. Barangay officials are of great help to run after vapers,” De Leon said.
The PRO-7 top cop also instructed his men to account all the vape stores in Central Visayas, and to coordinate with them to be partners in warning vapers not to smoke in public.
On Tuesday night, President Duterte declared that he would ban the importation and use of vapes in public places following the confirmation of vape-related illness involving a 16-year old girl in Central Visayas.
“You know why? Because it’s toxic and government has the power to issue measures to protect public health and public interest,” Duterte said.