Anti-Tobacco Groups Fundraise For Lawsuit Against Liquid Nicotine Delisting

Anti-tobacco coalition MCTC – which includes doctor, pharmacist, and cancer groups – launches a fundraising drive for their lawsuit challenging the delisting of liquid nicotine, urging people to donate at least RM1. Their account is CIMB Bank 80-0051353-5.

KUALA LUMPUR, July 4 – The Malaysian Council for Tobacco Control (MCTC) has launched a fundraising drive for its legal challenge against the declassification of liquid nicotine.

MCTC – which comprises over 40 organisations, including the Malaysian Medical Association (MMA), the Malaysian Pharmacists Society (MPS), the National Cancer Society Malaysia (NCSM), Lung Cancer Network Malaysia (LCNM), and the Malaysian Women’s Action for Tobacco Control and Health (MyWatch) – called for donors to contribute at least RM1 to show support for its judicial review application.

“The removal of liquid or gel nicotine from the Poisons Act 1952 makes it accessible to all, even children,” MCTC said on its Facebook page today.

“It is a highly addictive and dangerous substance, causing severe health risks like nicotine poisoning and lung injury. Act now to protect our young ones from this growing threat.

“To protect Malaysians – especially children – from nicotine addiction and damaged health, we are launching a judicial review to urge the Ministry of Health to reconsider this exclusion.”

Those who wish to support MCTC’s lawsuit can donate to CIMB Bank 80-0051353-5.

“Funds raised will go towards defraying the legal costs of the judicial review and on public awareness activities on tobacco control,” MCTC said.

For more information, contact MCTC public officer Muhammad Sha’ani Abdullah at 013-336 3647 or [email protected].

MCTC, anti-tobacco group the Malaysian Green Lung Association (MGLA), and child rights group Voice of the Children (VoC) filed last Friday a judicial review application in the High Court here to challenge the exemption of liquid and gel nicotine from the Poisons List.

The three applicants named the Health Minister and the government in their lawsuit, believed to be the first public interest case against the unity government led by Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim. Hearing for the case has been scheduled in the High Court on July 26.

Health Minister Dr Zaliha Mustafa gazetted last March 31 an order to remove liquid and gel nicotine used in e-cigarettes and vaporisers from the Poisons List, vetoing unanimous objection from the independent Poisons Board to the proposed exemption.

The health minister claimed this was part of the government’s “due process” to enable the taxation of e-liquids with nicotine from last April 1, even as she admitted that this created a lacuna in the law that legalised the sale of vape and e-cigarettes to everyone, including minors aged below 18.

The unprecedented lawsuit by health and anti-tobacco advocates against the health minister was filed after the government referred the Control of Smoking Products for Public Health Bill 2023 to a parliamentary special select committee last June 12 after first reading in the Dewan Rakyat.

Dr Zaliha’s special advisor Dr Kelvin Yii, who is also Bandar Kuching MP from the DAP, told reporters recently that no timeframe has been set for the second reading of the bill regulating tobacco and vape products. The next Dewan Rakyat meeting is scheduled in another three months in October.

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