Investigation Urged on Flava, Philippines' Largest E-cigarette Brand
According to a report in the Philippine media Tribune on November 16th, Rufus Rodriguez, the representative of the second district of Cagayan de Oro, called for an investigation by Congress into the e-cigarette company Flava. The company claims to be the largest e-cigarette brand in the Philippines but is currently facing accusations of tax evasion and regulatory non-compliance.
Previously, during a search of Flava's warehouse, authorities discovered 14,000 boxes of e-cigarettes or tobacco products that were suspected to be illegal. These goods are estimated to have a total value of 1.428 billion Philippine pesos, which highlights the possibility of Flava engaging in tax evasion.
According to reports, Flava has allegedly been labeling its products as containing "freebase nicotine" instead of "nicotine salts," as the latter would incur higher consumer taxes. Independent testing reveals that Flava's products do indeed contain nicotine salts and benzoic acid.
Rodriguez also discovered that Flava's rapid market rise may be attributed to its so-called marketing strategy, which involves social media posts showing underage individuals using their products.
According to Philippine law RA 11900 or the "Regulation of Vape and Non-Nicotine Delivery Systems Act of 2019" Article 12, it is prohibited for companies to sell nicotine products to minors. Additionally, they are required to include health warnings in their promotional materials or online posts.
It has been alleged that Flava also sponsored events targeting minors, which is deemed a violation of Sections 13 and 14 of RA 11900.
Flava's business practices, particularly its marketing activities targeting minors, not only warrant legal scrutiny but also deserve moral condemnation. Such behavior undermines the integrity of our market and endangers the well-being of our young people," stated Rodriguez.
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