The Vape Consumer Association of Malaysia (VCAM) has renewed its call to regulate the country’s vape industry.
The message came after recent Electronic Vape Associated Lung Injury (EVALI) cases and concerns about underage vaping.
The Ministry of Health (MOH) has reported 38 cases of vaping-related illnesses in Malaysia since 2022, with 18 cases linked to EVALI.
VCAM said it opposes any form of underage vaping and believes that proper regulation can help prevent it.
However, the association also believes banning vape flavours can push people to pick up smoking because they no longer have their preferred flavours to replace smoking.
It cited a study in Canada that found 29% of vapers to be at risk of switching back to cigarettes, and retailers have seen a sharp increase in cigarette sales since the pandemic began due to the ban on flavoured vape products.
VCAM is deeply concerned about the prevalence of underage vaping and vaping-related illnesses in Malaysia. The association is urging the government to act and regulate the vape industry to protect consumers and the youth of Malaysia.VCAM on proper regulation to help ensure the safety of vape products and curb the prevalence of EVALI in Malaysia while preventing underage vaping.
Prevention Of EVALI
EVALI is a severe inflammatory lung illness that can cause hospitalization, primarily affecting breathing and causing abdominal discomfort, fever, and chills.
The exact cause of EVALI is still unknown, but it can result from wrongful use and abuse of e-cigarettes.
Studies have linked vitamin E acetate, a chemical added to e-cigarettes and vaping products to make the vapour thicker and more flavorful, to EVALI.
Vitamin E acetate is unsafe to inhale and can form harmful byproducts that damage the lungs when heated.
The US experienced an outbreak of EVALI in 2019 due to a lack of regulations that allowed for the proliferation of e-cigarettes containing harmful ingredients.
The EU has been a leader in regulating e-cigarettes since adopting the Tobacco Products Directive (TPD) in 2014.
TPD regulates several aspects of e-cigarettes and has helped prevent EVALI outbreaks in the region.