KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 30 — Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said he plans to table new legislation regulating electronic cigarettes and vaping products in the first Dewan Rakyat meeting next year.
After a new Cabinet decision based on a Finance Ministry memorandum last July 14 on the regulation of e-cigarettes, the Ministry of Health (MOH) has taken action to review and make improvements on a draft Bill to regulate these products.
Khairy said that the improvements and amendments on the draft Bill will pave the way to implement strict regulation of cigarette products, as desired by the government.
This updated draft Bill will also cover the control of all conventional smoking products, namely cigarettes and other tobacco products. Cigarettes and tobacco products are currently regulated under the Control of Tobacco Product Regulations 2004 (PPHKT) under the Food Act of 1983.
“This new Act will enable more comprehensive controls, especially on new emerging smoking products that will attract more young smokers that still threaten the health of Malaysians,” Khairy said in a written November 23 reply to Sri Gading MP Shahruddin Md Salley.
Shahruddin had asked MOH to state the development of the new Act covering the use of tobacco, vape, electronic cigarettes and shisha, which should have been tabled in 2020.
“A Cabinet memorandum related to the draft of the new Act will be taken up soon. MOH aims to table the first, second and third readings of the draft of this Act no later than the first Dewan Rakyat session in 2022,” Khairy said.
“The draft of the new Act on the regulation of tobacco and electronic cigarette products was previously prepared and drafted based on the decision of the Cabinet in 2016 through a joint memorandum of the MOH, Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs (KPDNHEP) and the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI).
“The draft Act was sent to the Attorney General’s Chambers in August 2019 for drafting but was returned to MOH to obtain a new mandate from the government following several changes in the country’s leadership since 2018.”
The government announced during the tabling of Budget 2022 that e-cigarette and vape liquids containing nicotine would be taxed, angering anti-tobacco groups who maintain that these products should be completely banned.