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MALACCA, Jan 9, 2016:

Although the fatwa banning the use of vape or e-cigarettes is basically for the Muslims, the decision made by many state governments not to allow the sale of vape products has been seen as a very apt and relevant move.

This is because the health risks and effects of vaping using the e-cigarettes, especially among the young people, know no religious boundaries.

The Malaysian Muslim Consumers Association secretary-general Datuk Dr Ma’amor Osman said the public should look at the issue in a wider spectrum because it involved human health and just a religious issue.

“Don’t be too shallow to say that only Muslims cannot use or buy vape products, the ban applies to all because the effects are the same. The move taken by these state government in banning the vape sale is indeed apt,” he told Bernama here.

Last Tuesday, an online news portal reported that an opposition politician, who is also a member of the state executive council, claimed that the vape ban was unconstitutional and violated the rights of non-Muslim communities.

So far, Malacca, Johor, Pahang, Terengganu and Kelantan have banned the use and sale of vape products in their respective states.

Dr Ma’amor said that although many disputed the validity of health effects due to vaping as there was no conclusive studies on the matter, precautions should still be taken in advance.

“Prevention is better than cure.

“Vape or this e-cigarette is using nanotechnology where its vapours are extremely small in size and can travel deep within the lungs, irritate the tissue and causing damage.

“The people in the surrounding area, who accidentally inhaled the vapours would also face the same effect,” he added.

Meanwhile, Malacca Chief Minister Datuk Seri Idris Haron said the ban on vape sale in the state, which took effect last Wednesday (Jan 6), was decided following feedback from various quarters, including the Ministry of Health, and not only based on the decisions made by the National Fatwa Council and the Malacca Fatwa Committee.

“With the ban, no new licences will be issued to vape traders in the state, but existing licences can be used until it expires,” he said.

Nevertheless, he said the state government was still concerned about the situation faced by vape traders and would hold discussions with all the traders involved.

“We will look into other possible businesses they can venture into after the ban on vape sale in the state,” he said.

The Malacca Historical City Council is reported to have issued over 20 licences to vape traders.

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