Smoking control bill bans vape and e-cigarette promotions

29 Nov 2023 09:05pm
Pix for illustration purpose only. - FILE PIX
Pix for illustration purpose only. - FILE PIX

KUALA LUMPUR - E-cigarettes or vape products can no longer be advertised, promoted or involved in sponsorship once the Control of Smoking Products For Public Health Bill 2023 comes into force.

Health Minister Dr Zaliha Mustafa said the provisions banning the advertising, promotion and sponsorship of tobacco products, which were already in force under existing laws, are now expanded to all products including e-cigarettes, tobacco products, smoking substances and substitute tobacco products.

She said that Articles 3, 4, 5 and 6 of the bill also require all importers and manufacturers of tobacco products to register each product produced for the Malaysian market.

"This is crucial as it allows for the recording of specifications and content of each product, in addition to facilitating enforcement on the ground, including identifying unregistered products,” she said when tabling the bill for second reading in Dewan Rakyat today.

Dr Zaliha said it was important for the bill to be enforced, not only to address loopholes in existing laws and protect non-smokers from the side effects of cigarette smoke but also to protect children or minors.

This is because the current statistics showed that five million Malaysians aged 15 and above are smokers, she added.

"With the presence and trend of e-cigarettes or vape products at present, the number of smokers in that age group is expected to continue rising.

"In fact, the national health and morbidity survey found that the number of smokers in that age group, starting as early as 15 years old, doubled to 1.2 million in 2019 compared to 600,000 in 2016,” she said.

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Elaborating, Dr Zaliha said the proposed act would regulate three categories of tobacco products, firstly processed tobacco or any product that contains tobacco which is designed for human consumption.

"Secondly, any combination of substances used for smoking, including nicotine, propylene glycol, glycerol and triethylene glycol (found in e-cigarettes).

"And thirdly, substitute tobacco product, namely any processed product other than a tobacco product that is capable of being smoked, whether with or without smoking substance,” she said. - BERNAMA