KUALA LUMPUR, July 26 – Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin has made a concession to postpone implementation of his proposed generational smoking ban to 2025, starting with the 2007 generation, amid uncertain support from MPs.
This marks a two-year delay from his initially ambitious plan to prohibit the sale of cigarettes, tobacco and vape to anyone born from 2005, which would be enforced in less than six months in 2023 should Parliament approve the Tobacco and Smoking Control Bill that contains Khairy’s touted “generational end game” (GEG) to smoking and vaping.
New Zealand’s proposed cohort smoking ban – which its government announced in December 2021 – targets the 2008 generation in a proposal starting in 2027; those born after 2008 would not be permitted to legally buy cigarettes or tobacco products ever in their lifetime. Vape is excluded from New Zealand’s proposed prohibition.
“Having heard views during stakeholder engagement sessions, we have set the GEG for those born after 2007 and not 2005. This allows more time (two years) for community education, a robust implementation plan & ramped up enforcement. #GEG is still a go!” Khairy tweeted yesterday.
In a TikTok video, Khairy said he would table the Tobacco and Smoking Control Bill next week – the final week of the current Dewan Rakyat meeting – that bans cigarettes, vape, and all “smoking tools” for those born from 2007.
“If you want your children and grandchildren to be free from cigarette smoke, speak out about it. Tell your MPs to support the law. Your support can lead to a healthier generation.”
The Dewan Rakyat special select committee for health, science and innovation, chaired by Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii, is expected to publish its recommendations for the tobacco bill before the legislation is tabled.
Subang MP Wong Chen, one of the few MPs who expressed public support for the GEG, has called for a sunset clause in the tobacco control bill to enable a review of the impact of the law and to drop certain ineffective provisions after a certain period, such as one or two years.