KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 1 — Malaysia’s new proposed tobacco law excludes e-cigarettes containing nicotine, regulating only e-cigarettes without nicotine that form a tiny fraction of the vaping market.
According to Health Minister Dr Adham Baba, the sale of e-cigarette liquids that contain nicotine remains regulated under the Poisons Act and Sale of Drugs Act, where nicotine-containing substances can only be sold by licensed pharmacists and registered medical practitioners for medical treatment purposes only.
“The Health Ministry has been mandated to develop a new Act for the control of tobacco products and other smoking products by the Cabinet on October 28, 2016,” Dr Adham said in a written reply to Dewan Negara last December 21.
According to the health minister, the new Act will include stricter and comprehensive control measures on tobacco products and non-tobacco smoking products, such as electronic cigarettes.
Senator Nuridah Mohd Salleh had asked Dr Adham to state the status of the current enactment of a new law replacing the Control of Tobacco Product Regulations 2004, which involves the control of e-cigarette liquids.
The new Act will be enacted for the use, sale, promotion, sponsorship, and health-related labelling of e-cigarettes without nicotine content.
The Customs Department reportedly announced that the proposed tax this year on vaping and e-cigarette liquids would only be imposed on non-nicotine liquids. The Malaysian Vape Chamber of Commerce called for the excise duty to be extended to vape liquids with nicotine, saying that these comprised more than 97 per cent of vape liquids sold in the local market.
According to Dr Adham, the replacement of the Control of Tobacco Product Regulations 2004 also covers the production, distribution, and licensing activities, as well as import and export and retail of e-cigarette devices and liquids without nicotine by the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs (KPDNHEP).
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.
The regulatory and enforcement of Safety Standard Rules for batteries and nicotine-free cigarette devices have been placed under the Consumer Protection Act 1999 by KPDNHEP.
“MOH has prepared a draft of the new Act and it is currently being reviewed by the Attorney General’s Chambers,” said Dr Adham.
“In addition MOH and KPDNHEP have also prepared a joint memorandum to be submitted to the Cabinet in relation to the proposal for maintaining control over e-cigarettes as per the decision in 2016.”