New Tobacco Bill Drops GEG And Control Of Vape Devices

The new Control of Smoking Products for Public Health Bill 2023 tabled for first reading in Parliament today not only omits the GEG ban, but shockingly also does not regulate e-cigarette or vape devices. The term “smoking device” is absent from the bill.

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 28 – The government today tabled a new version of the Control of Smoking Products for Public Health Bill 2023 that is not only decoupled from the generational end game (GEG) ban, but also drops control over electronic cigarette and vape devices.

After Health Minister Dr Zaliha Mustafa retracted the Control of Smoking Products for Public Health Bill that was tabled last June 12, she tabled the new bill, which retains the name of the June bill, for first reading in the Dewan Rakyat today.

“November 29 for second reading,” she told the House.

The June bill – which has since been retracted – contained clauses that prohibited the sale to, purchase by, and smoking or use of both conventional and electronic cigarettes by anyone born on or after January 1, 2007.

These clauses have now been removed from the bill tabled today, with such restrictions limited instead to minors aged below 18 years.

The bill tabled last June also contained multiple provisions to regulate vape or e-cigarette devices, or “smoking device”, but the term “smoking device” is completely absent from the bill tabled today.

In the June bill, “smoking device” was defined as “any electronic device or battery operated device or other device including hookah which is used to heat, vaporise or burn a smoking substance or substitute tobacco product for smoking”.

Nonetheless, the new bill retains provisions that regulate “smoking substance”, defined as substances used for smoking that include nicotine, propylene glycol, glycerol, and triethyene glycol.

The new Control of Smoking Products for Public Health Bill was brought to the House today with significant revisions without prior formal feedback from MPs in the full chambers of Parliament, as the June version did not undergo second reading for debate.

More crucially, the decoupling of the generational smoking ban from the bill contravened recommendations from the Health parliamentary special select committee (PSSC) chaired by Kuala Selangor MP Dzulkefly Ahmad.

The PSSC, which reviewed the June version of the bill and submitted its report to the Dewan Rakyat last October 9, had explicitly recommended retaining the tobacco and vape GEG provisions in the bill.

Dr Zaliha and Ministry of Health (MOH) officials are briefing MPs in Parliament today on the new tobacco and vape control bill.

The new Control of Smoking Products for Public Health Bill without the GEG was tabled after Attorney-General Ahmad Terrirudin Mohd Salleh announced recently that the Attorney-General’s Chambers believed that the generational tobacco ban could be challenged in court because it violated Article 8 of the Federal Constitution that guarantees equality before the law.

CodeBlue previously reported that the Johor state government, supported by state ruler Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar, wanted the federal government to drop e-cigarette or vape devices from the Control of Smoking Products for Public Health Bill, on the basis that these smoking devices should be regulated by other agencies under the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) to allow local manufacturing of such devices.

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