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We Need Different Laws For Vape & Cigarettes, Says Malaysian Advocacy Group

We Need Different Laws For Vape & Cigarettes, Says Malaysian Advocacy Group

Vape advocacy group wants regulations to be tabled with Budget 2022.

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The rules set for vape products must be different from traditional tobacco products to enable smokers to quit and reduce the rate of smokers nationwide, says the Malaysian Vape Industry Advocacy (MVIA) group.

It’s President Rizani Zakaria said that the country must set laws and regulations to take into account differences between vape and traditional tobacco products like cigarettes as the former has been proven less harmful and can aid smokers in their journeys to quit.

Rizani added that the majority of vapers in the country were made up of former smokers who support the internationally applied Tobacco Harm Reduction (THR) strategy – a program that focuses to reduce and eliminate the use of regular combustible cigarettes by getting people to switch to other nicotine products like e-cigarettes and nicotine patches.

(Credit: Astro Awani)

The MVIA believes that it was time that Malaysia introduce vape regulations for its public health, economic and human capital benefits, especially for the Bumiputera community.

They say that the vape industry was responsible for creating thousands of local jobs and generated an industry worth RM2.27 billion with just around 3,300 currently registered businesses.

Regulations would effectively set the standard of quality for Malaysia’s vape industry and attract more direct foreign investments.

MVIA urges the government to introduce vape regulations as part of the Budget 2022 that is set to be tabled in October, and say that the industry was prepared to aid policymakers in achieving this goal.

We hope that our input gets the attention of the Government, and they are encouraged to immediately regulate the local vape industry. MVIA is ready to assist the government and be the voice of the industry to be jointly involved in the development of the regulations.

In 2019, the country was in a heated debate after the government introduced regulations that ban smoking and vaping at eateries and restaurants.

Larangan merokok
(Credit: KKM)

Here in Malaysia, tobacco products are regulated under the Food Act 1983 where tobacco products are defined as “tobacco, cigarette or cigar or any other form of tobacco including any mixture containing tobacco which is designed for human consumption.”

However, Health Director-General Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah previously mentioned that any preparations containing nicotine are governed under the Poisons Act 1952 and the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952 – under which only licensed pharmacists or registered medical practitioners can supply or sell them.

The government had also considered banning vape products with reports of death related to vaping in the United States and concerns of a rise in vaping among Malaysia’s youths.

But, the vaping-related deaths were apparently due to shoddily-produced drug-laced vaping liquids.

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