Palau Announces Vape Illegal
Comprehensive Ban on Import, Advertising, Sales, and Use of E-cigarettes
On March 29, President Surangel Whipps Jr. signed a law comprehensively banning the importation, advertising, sales, and use of electronic cigarettes in Palau, making them illegal.
Overview of the New Law
The law, known as RPPL 11-27, expands the Tobacco Control Act to include electronic cigarettes and will take effect 60 days after its enactment. This means that starting from May 29, businesses and individuals caught with e-cigarette products will face prosecution. Authorities hope that the new law will protect public health, particularly the youth of the island nation.
Penalties for Violation
Individuals found in violation of the law may face fines of up to $1,000 (1,588 NZD), while businesses or individuals involved in the importation, distribution, and/or sale of the products may face fines of up to $20,000 (31,753 NZD).
Initial Submission of the Bill
The original bill was submitted to Palau’s National Congress in July of the previous year.
First Lady and Tobacco Alliance Chair’s Opinion
First Lady and Tobacco Alliance Chair, Valeria Whipps, noted that e-cigarette products contain chemicals that can affect the brain development of young people and highly addictive nicotine. She said, “These products are specifically designed to appeal to young people, and if we let them continue, we will raise a whole generation harmed by these harmful products.”
Support from the Community
A student from Emmaus who attended the signing ceremony told Island Times, “I think this is a very good law.” He said he had never used the product but knew people who had. High school students, sports program members, Mechesil Belau members, church groups, representatives from the Ministry of Health, and members of various non-governmental organizations witnessed the signing of the law.
Increasing Use of E-Cigarettes Among Students
According to statistics from Palau’s Ministry of Health and Public Services, the number of students using e-cigarettes has increased significantly since 2019, with up to 7% of students having used e-cigarettes, and users as young as 13 years old.
Protecting Public Health and Promoting Healthy Lifestyles
“This bill will protect the health of the public, especially our young people, from the harmful effects of electronic cigarettes,” said President Whipps Jr., adding that the law will further advance their goal of promoting healthy lifestyles among their citizens.
In conclusion, Palau’s comprehensive ban on e-cigarettes aims to protect public health, particularly the youth, and promote a healthier lifestyle among its citizens. With the support of various community organizations and individuals, the law will make a significant impact in curbing the use of these harmful products.
- What is the main purpose of Palau’s e-cigarette ban? The main purpose of the ban is to protect public health, particularly the youth, from the harmful effects of e-cigarettes.
- When will the law take effect? The law will take effect on May 29, 60 days after its enactment.
- What are the penalties for violating the law? Individuals found in violation may face fines of up to $1,000, while businesses or individuals involved in the importation, distribution, and/or sale of the products may face fines of up to $20,000.
- What is thepercentage of students using e-cigarettes in Palau?
According to statistics, up to 7% of students in Palau have used e-cigarettes, with users as young as 13 years old.
- Who supported the signing of the law? The signing was witnessed by high school students, sports program members, Mechesil Belau members, church groups, representatives from the Ministry of Health, and members of various non-governmental organizations.