KUALA LUMPUR, March 3 – Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said today he would only table the Tobacco and Smoking Control Bill in Parliament after undergoing several more engagement sessions with stakeholders, including the tobacco and vape industries.
He also said the proposed tobacco control legislation will first be presented to the Dewan Rakyat special select committee on health, science and innovation chaired by Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii.
“In order to present a Bill, it involves several engagement stages,” Khairy explained in a press conference today.
Khairy highlighted that the proposed Bill is also required to undergo specific engagement sessions with the relevant industries and non-governmental organisations (NGOs).
“There are a few more engagement sessions that need to be done with NGOs, tobacco and vape industries.
“My intention to table the Bill still remains. If it is not presented in this meeting, then we’ll be presenting it in the next meeting in the middle of the year, which is three to four months away from now.”
The proposed Tobacco and Smoking Control Bill is said to contain provisions to prohibit the sale of cigarettes, tobacco, and vape products to anyone born after 2005. However, the Bill is not currently listed on the Dewan Rakyat’s Order Paper.
Khairy earlier had acknowledged that the proposed smoking ban for the next generation is another step to reduce cancer cases and improve cancer treatment access in the country.
It is important to note that tobacco caused 22 per cent of deaths from cancer in Malaysia while the annual cost of treating lung cancer from smoking is estimated at RM132.7 million.
The first meeting of the fifth session of the 14th Parliament started on March 1. Khairy can table the bill in Dewan Rakyat anytime before the current Parliament meeting ends on March 24.