State of vape in Malaysia: Ban avoided but regulation beckons

in the press collated

malaysia cityscape

 *Minister applauds PM’s ‘understanding’ over vape issue

Rural and Regional Development Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob today thanked Putrajaya for “understanding the aspiration of youths” after the federal government decided not to ban electronic cigarettes. The Cabinet’s decision not to ban vapes was good news for vapers, vape brewers, and vape traders. “Thank you, Prime Minister and the government for understanding the aspirations of youths.”
Ismail Sabri is supportive of the use of e-cigarettes. In a posting on Facebook yesterday after the Health Ministry said it was proposing to ban vapes, he said the matter would be discussed in Cabinet and he would present his views that vaping should not be prohibited.
“I will give my views so that the proposal is studied so that vape will not be banned, because a report from Britain had stated that it should not be banned and in fact, smokers are encouraged to switch to vaping. I understand the nicotine level in vapes is only 3%, compared to some cigarettes that have a content of 13%. If cigarettes are more dangerous than vape, why not ban cigarettes?” Read full article

**Health Ministry to regulate e-cigarettes

(Kuala Lumpur) The Health Ministry will not allow the unregulated use of e-cigarettes, including vaping devices. Despite the ministry’s failure to get the cabinet’s nod to ban vaping, a trend already picked up by about one million users, it is aggressively working to put in place stringent regulations to keep its use in check. Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam told the New Straits Times (NST) that as he and the healthcare community were deeply concerned about the rapid increase in the number of people taking up vaping, he was looking into tangible action that could, among others, prevent hazardous contents from making their way into vaping liquids.
The ministry was also looking at applying the same set of rules regulating the use of tobacco products to e-cigarettes. This would mean that the use and sale of vaping devices and accompanying items would be off-limits to those under the age of 18. Dr Subramaniam said the ministry was duty-bound to ensure the substances used in the liquid were not hazardous to users. The ministry had registered its concerns of possible long-term consequences of inhaling vapours containing nicotine, formaldehyde, and propylene glycol. He also told the NST that in regulating vaping devices, including e-liquid that contains nicotine, the existing Poisons Act 1952 (revised 1989) would likely come into play. Read full article

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***Govt’ mulls over setting regulations for nicotine

The Malaysian government is considering to set regulations to ensure the nicotine and chemical content in cigarettes or vapes do not harm consumers. Rural and Regional Development Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said setting regulations was better than banning the use of e-cigarettes altogether.

“What’s important is not to ban the use of vape, it’s better to set regulations, for example, maybe capping the percentage of nicotine content in a vape. In terms of using chemicals, it should be within the rules allowed by the government, so there is no question of risk for consumers” he told reporters after attending a get-together of Perak State Village Development and Security Committees.

He said the health ministry was conducting a study on the risks of using vape, adding it was also asked to educate consumers on the effects of its use. Ismail Sabri said based on reports from the United Kingdom, vaping was 95% safer than smoking cigarettes. “Cigarettes, which are far more dangerous than vape, why aren’t they banned? Why should we forbid something less dangerous and allow something that is much more dangerous?” asked the minister. Read full article

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*Malaysian Insider (30 October 2015) Minister applauds PM’s ‘understanding’ over vape issue [editorial]. Retrieved from http://ow.ly/U5QMe

**Malaysian Digest (30 October 2015) Ministry to regulate e-cigarettes [editorial]. Retrieved from http://ow.ly/U5QoU

***Bernama (31 October 2015) Govt mulls over setting regulations for nicotine, chemical content in vapes [editorial]. Retrieved from http://ow.ly/U5Q5o

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