KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 4 – The Malaysian Vape Chamber of Commerce (MVCC) urged the government to allow the sale of nicotine-based vapes, like in the United Kingdom, Canada and New Zealand.
MVCC also said calls to ban vaping products did not take into consideration the vape industry’s contribution to the economy, creation of jobs, as well as the reduction of the number of smokers in the country.
“The industry calls for the government to introduce regulations to allow sale of vape liquid with nicotine where the nicotine level does not exceed 5 per cent of the total liquid content and is sold as a regulated consumer product, consistent with other countries that also introduced regulations to regulate the vape industry,” said MVCC president Syed Azaudin Syed Ahmad in a statement.
“Should the government ban the sale and use of vape, it will give a negative impact to the economy and sends a message that the government supports the cigarette industry, even though cigarettes that also contain nicotine has been proven to be more harmful than vape nicotine.”
MVCC said that the government can follow the examples of countries such as United Kingdom, Canada and New Zealand, which it said allowed the sale and use of vape liquid with nicotine as regulated consumer products.
The Health Ministry reportedly plans to group e-cigarettes and vaporisers together with tobacco products under a single law, which it hopes to table in Parliament next year, that would prohibit promotions and advertising, usage in public areas, and use by minors.
The Health Ministry said back in 2015 that nicotine-containing vape liquids can only be supplied by pharmacists and doctors, as the substance is regulated under the Poisons Act 1952, but the lack of regulation over the years has allowed the vaping industry to flourish in Malaysia.
The US has reported a total of 18 deaths as of yesterday due to lung diseases linked to vaping that has sickened over 1,000 people.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggested that e-cigarette products containing THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, could be the cause of the outbreak.
THC-containing vape products are generally not sold here as marijuana is illegal in Malaysia.
“The incidents happened because of misuse of vape and not as stated by various parties who made confusing statements and frighten the public about the danger of vape nicotine,” said Syed Azaudin, referring to the US cases.
The Consumers Association of Penang (CAP) has called for a total ban on the sale of vape, citing claims that out of one million vapers in the country, 10 per cent are minors.