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Tuesday June 25, 2013

Ministry urged to ban e-cigarettes immediately

GEORGE TOWN: The Consumers Association of Penang (CAP) has urged the Health Ministry to impose an immediate ban on electronic cigarettes which are becoming popular with students.

Its president S.M. Mohd Idris claimed that a disciplinary teacher from a secondary school on the island had caught 60 students smoking e-cigarette, which is actually a nicotine vaporiser.

“The battery-operated device, which uses a liquid-filled cartridge, comes in flavours such as chocolate, strawberry and caramel. It is ironic that certain websites promote the device as a solution for nicotine addiction when the product’s label indicates that the 10ml cartridge contains 3.6% nicotine,” he said.

Mohd Idris said there was an age restriction for the sale of real cigarettes but there was no age limit for buying e-cigarettes and this could lead to more children and youths becoming addicted to them.

“Based on a survey done about a month ago, it is also found that three out of 10 customers who purchase the e-cigarettes are women. Women prefer it as it has less social stigma as compared to the real cigarettes,” he said.

E-cigarette, marketed as a smoking cessation device, is normally sold at between RM50 and RM90 each while a liquid-filled bottle is priced around RM15.

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