PUTRAJAYA, Nov 4, 2015:

The Health Ministry remained firm in its view that the use of electronic cigarettes containing nicotine should be banned as the habit can affect the public’s health in the long term.

Deputy director-general of Health (Public Health) Datuk Dr Lokman Hakim Sulaiman said the ministry would not support any activity which could contribute to increased health problems among the younger generation.

He said the decision was reached based on a study conducted by the technical committee to review the effects of electronic cigarettes and shisha on health, which also recommended that the government ban the use of electronic cigarettes.

Dr Lokman Hakim said the Health Ministry defined electronic cigarettes containing nicotine as e-cigarettes and electronic cigarettes without nicotine called vape.

“But most people cannot differentiate between the e-cigarette and vape. For them, vape and e-cigarettes are the same thing.

“In addition, there is also nicotine-contained liquid vape,” he told a press conference here today.

Dr Lokman Hakim said only licensed pharmacists in the licensed premises can sell products containing nicotine in order to recover from nicotine addiction.

“The sale and use of e-cigarettes containing nicotine liquid are subject to the Poisons Act 1952 and Food Act 1983 under the Control of Tobacco Products Regulations 2004.”

Hence, Dr Lokman Hakim said the ministry would take action against sellers and users of e-cigarettes that contained nicotine, as stated under the Poisons Act 1952.

He said the ministry also would intensify the anti e-cigarette and vape campaign such as “Tak Nak Merokok” or “No Smoking” campaign.

“The ministry’s message to the community is do not use e-cigarettes or vaping as it is harmful to your health in the long term.”

Meanwhile, chairman of the technical committee to review the effects of electronic cigarette and shisha on health, Prof Datuk Dr Abdul Razak Mutallif, said although there was no nicotine in the vape, the latest trend of vaping would create a new kind of addiction in the society.

“The research we conducted found a lot of long-term effects that will produce new cancers in the future,” said Dr Abdul Razak, who is also a senior medical consultant of Institute of Respiratory Medicine at Kuala Lumpur Hospital.

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