KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 11 – The Ministry of Health (MOH) has launched a generational end game (GEG) survey on MySejahtera after the government postponed the second reading of the Control of Smoking Products for Public Health Bill 2023.
It remains uncertain if seeking public feedback at this stage, after the bill’s first reading in Parliament, will lead to further delays.
The survey is open to all Malaysian citizens and can be accessed through the MySejahtera app starting today. Users can obtain an update for the app from the Google Play Store for Android or the Apple App Store for iOS.
The GEG survey is not anonymous because one’s MySejahtera account is linked to their identity card number.
The survey consists of five yes/ no questions aimed at gauging public opinions on the health risks associated with smoking, their stance on the Control of Smoking Products for Public Health Bill 2023, and their views on GEG provisions that prohibit the sale of smoking products and prevent individuals born from January 2007 onwards from smoking for life.
The five questions are as follows:
- Do you agree that smoking conventional cigarettes and electronic cigarettes or vape have adverse health effects?
- Are you aware of the MOH’s initiative in tabling the Bill along with the GEG provision?
- Do you agree with the government’s move to control all smoking products including electronic cigarettes or vape?
- Do you agree with the GEG provision where sellers are prohibited from selling any form of smoking products including electronic cigarettes or vape to the GEG group to individuals born in January 2007 onwards?
- Do you agree with the GEG provision where individuals born in January 2007 onwards are prohibited from smoking conventional cigarettes as well as electronic cigarettes or vape for the rest of their lives?
The survey also includes a video featuring Health Minister Dr Zaliha Mustafa, explaining what the public should know about the Control of Smoking Products for Public Health Bill 2023. Additionally, it offers FAQs about the bill, GEG, and the implications of GEG.
In a four-minute video posted on YouTube just six days ago, Dr Zaliha said: “As a minister and a mother, it is my responsibility to protect children and future generations from the dangers of smoking products.
“That is why I am committed to implementing the GEG provision, where those born on January 1, 2007, and onwards will be protected from the dangers of smoking and remain smoke-free throughout their lives.”
She said the bill is also a commitment by the Madani government to reduce the accessibility of tobacco products and prevent those who have not been exposed to harmful smoking products from starting the habit for the sake of their health and their future.
“Comprehensive control of electronic cigarettes or vape products will be possible if this bill is passed, including a ban on products and packaging that resemble children’s toys,” Dr Zaliha said.
“Furthermore, control over flavours that may attract children and teenagers to use these smoking products can also be implemented. Without control, the packaging and marketing of electronic cigarettes or vape products will remain unregulated.”
Yesterday, the MOH confirmed the postponement of the Control of Smoking Products for Public Health Bill 2023, which was originally scheduled for its second reading on that day.
The MOH stated that the delay is necessary to accommodate other parliamentary matters, but they did not specify a new date for the bill’s presentation.
Despite the pressing need for the bill, given the health minister’s decision to exempt liquid nicotine from the Poisons Act 1952 last March 31, the MOH justified the delay by citing the need to address “other government business” in Parliament.
The exemption – made unilaterally by Dr Zaliha in an exercise of her ministerial powers overriding the Poisons Board’s unanimous objection – effectively legalised the sale of e-cigarettes and vape with nicotine to anyone, including minors aged below 18, as there are currently zero regulations on vape.
Conventional cigarettes are regulated separately by existing tobacco control regulations under the Food Act 1983.