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KKM Should Not Use Strict Cigarette Regulations On Vapes: Not The Same Thing, Says Business Owners

KKM Should Not Use Strict Cigarette Regulations On Vapes: Not The Same Thing, Says Business Owners

Polls show that people want fair regulations that doesn’t restrict access to alternatives that can help smokers quit.

Akmal Hakim

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Adrian Lo, a Malaysian vape business owner, today said that a majority (87.9%) of vape users, support the introduction of vape regulations that are different from conventional cigarettes.

Recently, Adrian Lo ran an opinion poll among his followers on his social media pages on various topics related to vape regulations.

The poll has garnered more than 1,633 respondents in a short span of two weeks.

“As a consumer and a business owner, I am extremely concerned with the move by the Health Ministry (KKM) to label tobacco and vape as the same products and to regulate both products in the same way. Regulations for vape products must be different from conventional tobacco as both products are not the same,” he explained.

Various international reports have found vape to be less harmful and a viable alternative to quit smoking, while multiple studies have confirmed that tobacco kills more than 8 million people each year. It is therefore wrong to regulate both products the same way.

Adrian Lo

The opinion poll also saw 85.5% of users polled support the Government’s move to regulate the vape industry.

Vapers in Malaysia welcome the move by Government to regulate the vape industry. It is important to have regulations especially to regulate the safety and quality standards for vape products.

Adrian Lo

As part of the survey, vape users are also asked about the kind of regulations that they hope will be introduced for the industry.

The top 3 regulations that Malaysian vapers hope to see are:

  • Vape products are prohibited from being sold to minors.
  • Vape products can be sold in all premises with relevant controls in place.
  • Vape products can be sold online with relevant controls in place.
Credit: Shafwan Zaidon via Malay Mail/ E-Liquids UK via Unsplash

On nicotine levels in vape liquids, the majority of respondents (87.4%) also agreed that there must be a limit to nicotine in vape liquids and that nicotine levels in vape liquids between 50mg-60mg received the highest support from vapers at 69.3%.

Vapers also pointed out that if nicotine levels in vape liquids are capped at a lower level:

  • 40% said they will go back to using traditional cigarettes
  • 27.3% said that they will turn to unregulated products
  • 17.5% will add nicotine into their vape liquids
  • 15.1% will quit using vape products

Adrian Lo added that all the findings from the survey are consistent with his experience from being in the industry.

For example, we know that on average, vape consumers purchase vape liquids with 50mg-60mg nicotine. The survey showed that respondents are in agreement with this level of nicotine, and if regulations does not take into consideration the need of vapers, then most of them will revert back to smoking or turn to unregulated products.

Adrian Lo

He said that this was a clear indication that regulations must mirror the need of consumers or otherwise any efforts to legalise the industry will be futile.

Commenting on KKM’s proposal to ban access to vape products for anyone born after 2005, Adrian also said the move will not be effective.

Banning access to vape products will not mean that these products will no longer be available to those born after 2005. It will simply mean that these group of users will be forced to buy from dubious sources and worst case, obtain unregulated vape products that do not adhere to any safety standards. This can be even more dangerous, as users will be consuming products with unknown substances. Not to mention also enforcement will be very challenging.

Adrian Lo

He elaborated that it’s also very difficult to comprehend the intent of such ruling as anyone above the age of 18 is able to vote, and drive a vehicle but cannot have access to products that are deemed less harmful compared to cigarettes.

If KKM’s goal is to create a smoke-free nation, then the right move is for vape products to be regulated and positioned as alternatives that can help smokers quit.

Adrian Lo

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