KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 26 — The Perikatan Nasional (PN) government has decided to retain a 2016 Cabinet decision under the then-Barisan Nasional (BN) administration to regulate electronic cigarettes and vape devices.
However, according to Health Minister Dr Adham Baba, the current government will also prohibit the sale of vape or e-cigarette liquids that contain nicotine, saying that products containing nicotine can only be sold by pharmacists and medical practitioners for medical treatment.
Dr Adham said the Ministry of Health (MOH), Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs (KPDNHEP), and the Ministry of Science, Technology, and Innovation (MOSTI) examined in 2016 a proposal for the vaping and e-cigarette industry to be regulated under the law, besides ensuring the devices meet safety requirements.
“In line with the study, the Cabinet meeting on October 28, 2016, decided that the use of electronic cigarettes or vape is to be regulated by three ministries — which are MOH, KPDNHEP, and MOSTI — that includes regulation over the use and sale of electronic cigarette and vape liquids, as well as setting the safety standards of the device used,” Dr Adham told the Dewan Negara in his written parliamentary reply on September 23.
Senator Lee Tian Sing (BN) had asked the health minister to state if the ministry is looking into the suggestion to regulate the industry of electronic cigarettes and vape under the law to ensure that these devices in the market meet the safety standards.
Dr Adham said that for the sale of electronic cigarettes that contain nicotine, the Cabinet in October 2016 had decided for it to remain under the Poisons Act 1952 (Act 368) and Sale of Drugs Act 1952 (Act 368) (Control of Drugs and Cosmetics Regulations 1984), whereby the sale of nicotine-containing preparations is only allowed by licensed pharmacists and registered medical officers for treatment purposes only.
“For the use, sale, promotion, sponsorship, and health-related labelling of electronic cigarettes that do not contain nicotine, the Cabinet meeting has also decided that it will be regulated under a new MOH Act that will replace the Control of Tobacco Product Regulations 2004,” Dr Adham told the Dewan Negara.
“A draft of this Act is now available and under the review of the Attorney General’s Chambers.”
The Department of Standards Malaysia under Section 10 (1) Standards of Malaysia Act 1996 (Act 549) have developed the standards for batteries, devices, and packaging of electronic cigarettes containing non-nicotine liquid.
Dr Adham said that the standard development for batteries and devices have already been made available, while the standard development for packaging is still under discussion.
KPDNHEP will also implement regulations for production, distribution licensing activities, including import, export and retail of devices as well as nicotine-free electronic cigarette liquids combined under the new legislation below MOH’s purview.
“Following changes to the administration of the country, MOH and KPDNHEP will issue a joint Memorandum to the Cabinet in the near future to maintain the decision of the Cabinet in 2016,” the health minister said.