KUALA LUMPUR, 7 March 2022 – The Ministry of Health should not delay the tabling of a bill for vaping products, and regulations especially on vape products should be introduced immediately to ensure consumers have access to regulated products, said a consumer body today.
Khairil Azizi Khairuddin, President of Malaysian Vapers Alliance (MVA) says, since 2016, the Government has stated that laws will be introduced to regulate vape products.
“But there has not been any laws introduced in the past few years on vape products especially to prevent underage use and ensure consumers have access to products that complies with quality and safety standards.”
“The Health Minister previously said that a law will be tabled in the first Parliament session this year and yet it has been delayed again.
“The delay means there is still no regulations in place on vape products despite having over a million users in Malaysia. We cannot continue having consumers access unregulated products in the market.”
The statement from the MVA was made following the recent announcement made by Minister of Health, YB Khairy Jamaluddin, saying that the tabling of the Tobacco and Smoking Control Bill may likely be delayed given that it needs to undergo several more engagement sessions with stakeholders, including the tobacco and vape industries.
Instead of waiting for the tabling of the bill in Parliament which can still be delayed, Khairil suggested seeking alternative solutions on an immediate basis if the Government is serious about regulating the vape industry.
“The Health Ministry has already stated that it is against current regulations for anyone to vape in public places and eateries. That means there are regulations already in place. So instead of waiting for the bill which will take a very long time, the Health Ministry should look at introducing regulations immediately, especially on vape products. This is to ensure there are quality and safety standards in place, as well as to safeguard the interest of consumers in Malaysia.”
This is also going to help the Government in collecting tax revenue from legal vape products as tabled during Budget2022. The Finance Minister had already announced tax on vape liquids containing nicotine, which has been put on hold as the bill has yet to be finalised and tabled in Parliament.
“If the Health Minister can introduce regulations now, not only can he ensure consumers have access to regulated products that meet safety and quality standards, but it also enables the Government to collect much needed tax revenue from vape products,” Khairil adds.
In addition, he also said that the law on vape products should not be combined with tobacco products because the products are not the same.
“If the delay is because the Health Ministry wants to finalise laws on tobacco products, then the solution is simple. All the Ministry needs to do is to separate the laws on vape products from tobacco products because these two products are not the same.
“Many countries around the world regulate vape separately from tobacco products because they are not the same. Malaysia should adopt the same view,” said Khairil.
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