KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 9 – The Consumers’ Association of Penang (CAP) today rejected suggestions to restrict the amount of nicotine in e-cigarette and vaping devices (EVCs), as it called for a complete ban.
CAP president Mohideen Abdul Kader said in a statement that EVCs are not a “safer alternative” to smoking traditional tobacco-based products, or for use in smoking cessation, and listed a number of reasons for this claim.
“In the first instance e-liquids come under two broad categories: nicotine-based, and flavoured (e.g. vanilla, chocolate, and peppermint) e-liquids,” he said.
“They are often promoted by EVC manufacturers that their e-liquids are produced from ‘food grade’ and ‘generally recognised as safe (GRAS)’ ingredients.
“But this is contradicted by the Flavor Extracts Manufacturers Association (FEMA) which announced in September 2016: ‘The manufacturers and marketers of ENDS (Electronic Nicotine Device System), and all other flavoured tobacco products, and flavour manufacturers and marketers, should not represent or suggest that the flavour ingredients used in these products are safe because they have FEMA GRASTM status for use in food because such statements are false and misleading.’.”
He further claimed that that EVC producers focus on youths to sell their products as a means to try either nicotine-based e-liquids, or to initiate them into smoking.
Mohideen also explained that it is not an easy task to monitor and identify which of the vapers are using illegal e-liquids, such as those containing high levels of nicotine.
“Legislating and imposing conditions on e-liquids will open the floodgates for the multi-billion ringgit black market to thrive as their sale is too lucrative to ignore.
“Given our failure to control tobacco products use with legislation, the government should ban vaping outright rather than regulating it,” he stated.
“If governments are not able to solve the smoking problem for the past seven decades, we do not see how they can allow EVCs to be marketed then try to curb like they do with tobacco control measures.”
The Malaysian Vape Chamber of Commerce (MVCC) recently urged the government to allow the sale of nicotine-based vapes, like in the United Kingdom, Canada and New Zealand, calling for regulations to limit the nicotine level in e-cigarettes to 5 per cent of the liquid content.
The US has reported a total of 21 deaths as of yesterday due to lung diseases linked to vaping that has sickened over 1,000 people. Health authorities urged people to immediately stop using THC vaping products, as most of the victims had reported using e-cigarettes containing the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana.
Last year, the British government launched a new campaign to convince UK smokers that vaping is not as harmful as smoking, as Public Health England said vaping is 95 per cent less harmful than tobacco and that e-cigarettes can help people quit smoking.