PETALING JAYA: The Health Ministry says that raids on vape stores nationwide are carried out to seize nicotine-based vapes.
An official from the Ministry said Thursday that the move was also to monitor the nicotine content in vaping fluids.
"The other reason is that these stores do not possess a valid licence from the Ministry," the official told The Star.
Asked on why vape store owners were not notified about the clampdown, the official said: “There was no need because Poisons Act is clear in its enforcement."
He said the sale and use of e-cigarettes containing nicotine are subject to the Poisons Act 1952 and Food Act 1983 under the Control of Tobacco Product Regulations 2004.
The official said this referring to a statement by deputy health director-general Datuk Dr Lokman Hakim, who said that action would be taken against sellers and users of e-cigarettes that contained nicotine under the Poisons Act 1952.
Earlier, Malaysian Organisation of Vape Entities president Samsul Kamal Arriffin claimed that more than 300 stores in Selangor alone and other areas in the country had been raided by the Health Ministry.
He added that it was unfair for the clampdown when the Cabinet clearly stated otherwise.
"When the Cabinet had issued a statement that they were not going to ban vaping, the Health Ministry should first propose a method of regulating it before the clampdown.
"This is very unfortunate," Samsul said, claiming that it was unfair to raid the stores as vaping helps people to stop smoking.
A store in Shah Alam was among those raided following discovery of products containing nicotine.
The owner claimed that officers from the Health Ministry had confiscated more than 3,000 bottles of vape liquid worth RM100,000.
On Wednesday, Dr Lokman said the ministry would intensify the campaign against e-cigarettes or vaping.
"The ministry's message to the community is do not use e-cigarettes or vaping as it is harmful to your health in the long-term," he said.