The MALAYSIAN Vapers Alliance (MVA) has expressed disappointment over the government’s move to agree to ban sales of e-cigarette products in the country along with cigarettes and tobacco.
This comes after Health Minister Khairy Gamal El-Din announced yesterday (July 14) that the Council of Ministers approved the anti-tobacco and smoking law.
Khairy said that the draft law will be presented to Parliament for discussion in the next session, which begins next Monday.
The proposed Anti-Tobacco and Smoking Act contains provisions that prohibit the sale of cigarettes, tobacco and e-cigarette products to anyone born after 2005.
Dealers and sellers of cigarettes will not be permitted to sell smoking products to prohibited persons.
Khairy also said that once the law is passed, Malaysia will become the first country in the world to enact legislation for the intergenerational tobacco end game.
The head of the MVA, Khair Aziz Khairuddin, commented on this, saying: “It is wrong for the government to classify e-cigarettes as conventional cigarettes, even though there is enough scientific evidence to show that these products are very different.”
“Independent evidence globally demonstrates that while vaping has risks, these risks are much lower compared to smoking.
“The vape has also been successful in helping many smokers quit. It is disappointing to see that the government continues to ignore the science and the evidence.”
Khalil further noted that with the ban, the government is withdrawing the rights of vapers who chose to use products that have been proven to be less harmful and worse, forcing online newspapers to switch to unregulated products.
“This is a mistake and the Department of Veterans Affairs is calling on the government to reconsider this decision,” he said.
Meanwhile, RTBA Malaysia, a coalition of companies, retailers and brand owners working to protect retail industries and suppliers in the Asia Pacific region from the impact of criminal behaviour, has expressed concern about Cabinet approval. on ban.
“Malaysia is a progressive country. Implementation of a blanket ban and withdrawal of citizen’s rights will affect legitimate businesses and retailers,“ RTBA Director warned Malaysia Datuk Fadli Norden.
“RTBA Malaysia is strongly against this ban as it is not a viable solution to curbing the spread of smoking.“
According to Fadli, a ban of this kind will only benefit criminal gangs by fueling the black market, whether it is tobacco or e-cigarettes, and once they take over the market, the social and economic cost will rise.
According to news reports, the current illegal cigarette market of 58.4%, has already caused the government to lose RM5 billion in tax revenue.
“A ban would see that number skyrocket. Additional bans on vape products will only create a whole new source of income for criminal gangs, further affecting the Malaysian economy,Fazli pointed out.
“While the Department of Health has reassured people that it will increase enforcement efforts, history has shown time and again that these efforts have been ineffective. It’s naive to think it will be different this time.– July 15, 2022
Main image source: NBC News