KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 19 – The potential health consequences of vaping outweigh the economic contribution of Malaysia’s vaping industry that is among the biggest globally, Deputy Health Minister Dr Lee Boon Chye.
“The fact remains that vaping is harmful, though how much harm vaping could cause varies from one study to another,” he said, according to The Star.
“We also know that the vaping industry is big and Malaysia is among the top five producers. But to the Ministry, the health aspect is of the utmost importance.”
Kapar MP Abdullah Sani Abdul Hamid previously requested the Ministry of Health (MOH) to put the implementation of the smoking ban at open-air eateries last January 1 on hold until proper regulations were announced for the vape industry.
Abdullah Sani urged MOH to come up with a win-win solution and enact proper regulations for some 5,000 vape operators who could potentially contribute to the economy.
He also said that Malaysia was the second largest exporter of vaping and electronic cigarette products in the world, estimated at more than 5,000 Bumiputera entrepreneurs. The PKR lawmaker believed that 50,000 job opportunities could be offered after the vaping industry is legalised.
He added that MOH should not have raided local vaping businesses before a Bill is enacted to regulate vaping.
MOH’s Pharmaceutical Enforcement Division carried out a nationwide operation last October 31, raiding 28 premises and seizing flavoured vape liquids suspected to contain nicotine. The total seizure amounted to RM6.38 million.
The widespread sale of nicotine without a valid license is an offence under the Poisons Act 1952 and if found guilty, can be punished under Section 32 (2) of the Act, a fine not exceeding RM3,000, or imprisonment not exceeding one year, or both.