Malaysia plans new law on vape, electronic cigarettes, ‘shisha’

SERI ISKANDAR (Bernama) – The Malaysian Ministry of Health (MoH) will draw up a new Act to supervise the usage of tobacco, vape, electronic cigarettes and shisha.

Its minister, Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad said that the Act which was named the Tobacco Act was expected to be able to tackle the issues comprehensively.

“We, at the ministry, are formulating the Tobacco Act to work on the whole problem comprehensively, which is limited currently, and it will be tabled soon.

“At the moment, it is being viewed by the MoH’s legal advisers and is set to be submitted to the Attorney-General’s Chambers soon,’’ he said.

He was speaking to reporters after launching the Communication For Behavioural Impact (COMBI) convention in conjunction with the ASEAN Dengue Day and national level Dengue Free Institutions of Higher Learning Award yesterday.

Malaysian Minister of Health Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad. – BERNAMA

In the meantime, asked if the sweets ‘Ghost Smoke’ (Cool Fruit Powder) would be entered under the act, Dzulkefly said that the product was still under investigation.

“The product is still under our observation and in the near future will clarify on the matter. We have investigated and taken sample tests. Maybe, next week we will be able to explain the stand of MoH, currently, we cannot yet completely make an explanation,’’ he said.

Meanwhile, answering to the urgings of the Malaysian Crime Prevention Foundation (MCPF)  Senior Vice Chairman Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye that firm and integrated action be taken to tackle the issue of the proliferation of vape and electronic cigarette smoking among students, he said a special committee set up by the ministry would address the problem.

“Deputy Health Minister Dr Lee Boon Chye heading the special committee is looking at the issues on vape, shisha which involve the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry, Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) and MoH pharmacy that are responsible for looking at tobacco products containing nicotine.

“We need joint enforcements and we specifically want the products not be accessible to children below 18 years. And I hope we will be able to issue a follow up statement on the matter,’’ he said.