KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 6 – The nicotine patch and gum will now be made available for sale over-the-counter (OTC), after the smoking cessation products were exempted from control under the Poisons Act 1952.
Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said the exemption was effective today after he gazetted a regulation to amend the poisons list under the Poisons Act that regulates medicines.
Previously, smokers wishing to quit could only obtain the nicotine patch and gum from a pharmacist or medical practitioner.
“Through this exemption, access to nicotine replacement products in the form of the patch or gum is now easier and wider through over-the-counter purchase in grocery stores or retail outlets that supply them,” Khairy said in a statement today.
“This is also practised in other countries like the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia.
“It is hoped that this exemption will help smokers who are motivated to quit smoking by managing withdrawal symptoms. Nicotine addiction through the patch or gum is found to be less harmful than addiction to nicotine through cigarettes.”
Khairy also encouraged smokers to register with the Health Ministry’s mQuit quit-smoking programme.