Government To Table Tobacco Bill Tuesday For Second Reading: Minister

The Control of Smoking Products for Public Health Bill will be tabled for second reading in Parliament this Tuesday, says Health Minister Dr Zaliha Mustafa. She told reporters earlier that the Health PSSC will also table its report on the bill for debate.

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 5 – The government plans to table the Control of Smoking Products for Public Health Bill 2023 for second reading in the Dewan Rakyat this Tuesday, Dr Zaliha Mustafa said today.

This followed a decision by Cabinet yesterday, according to the health minister.

She said the Health parliamentary special select committee (PSSC) – which had worked on the tobacco and vape control bill together with stakeholders – had made several recommendations that were “well received” by the Ministry of Health (MOH).

“Therefore, the MOH wishes to urge all layers of society, including Members of Parliament, individuals, parents, teachers, and community leaders to jointly play a role and to express their support for this bill,” Dr Zaliha said in a statement. 

Earlier today, the health minister told reporters that the Health PSSC, which is chaired by Kuala Selangor MP Dzulkefly Ahmad, had proposed a few amendments to the tobacco and vape control bill.

“So yesterday, I submitted a note to Cabinet to accept the motion brought by the select committee,” Dr Zaliha told reporters at the launch of the Twin Towers Mobile Clinic by Twin Towers Medical Centre under IHH Healthcare Malaysia here.

She added that the PSSC will be tabling its report on the Control of Smoking Products for Public Health Bill for debate. 

Yesterday, a high-level source told CodeBlue that the Control of Smoking Products for Public Health Bill is expected to be tabled in the Dewan Rakyat as early as this coming Monday, the start of the upcoming meeting in the Lower House that is scheduled until November 30.

According to the source, generational end game (GEG) related revisions to the bill included increased fines for suppliers, lower fines for buyers or smokers or vapers in the GEG group, and two years of educational enforcement on the GEG first after the Act comes into effect.

The bill – which seeks to ban tobacco and vape products for anyone born from 2007 throughout their lifetime – also retains the GEG prohibition on e-cigarettes, as well as community service alternative punishment for GEG offenders.

The Control of Smoking Products for Public Health Bill was referred to the Health PSSC immediately after first reading in the House last June; it was not tabled for second reading, where a debate and vote would occur at the policy stage, before subsequently moving to the committee stage.

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