Hilmi: Clampdown on vaping a bit drastic


  • Nation
  • Sunday, 08 Nov 2015

KUALA LUMPUR: The recent nationwide clampdown on vaping by the Health Ministry had been “a bit drastic,” said Deputy Minister Datuk Seri Dr Hilmi Yahaya.

More time should be given to electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) sellers to legalise their business, he added.

“Yes, we got a lot of feedback from our action (clampdown on sellers), but personally, I think we have to look back at our action and find a proper way to handle this matter, because the vape industry right now involves a lot of people.

“Recent reports suggest that in the country alone (Malaysia), we have more than one million e-cigarette users and five million cigarette smokers, this is a huge number,” he told a press conference after launching the Malay College Old Boys Association (MCOBA) Blood Donation Campaign here yesterday.

Last Tuesday, Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam said a nationwide campaign would be carried out soon to curb the use of liquid containing unlicensed nicotine in e-cigarettes.

E-cigarettes, personal vapourisers or electronic nicotine delivery systems, are battery-powered vapourisers that simulate the feeling of smoking, but without the tobacco combustion.

Dr Hilmi said that under the current law, only registered and licensed pharmacies and doctors are allowed to sell nicotine.

“At present, we have only laws governing tobacco (Food Act 1983) and nicotine (Poisons Act 1952), but we are looking at new laws to cover vaping,” he said.

Asked on how the e-cigarette sellers could obtain a licence, Dr Hilmi said:

“This is a new issue, so we have to do a proper study before making any regulation on it, and the D-G (director-general) will issue a statement regarding this matter soon.

“It is best for vape sellers to cease operation until a new regulation is announced,” he added. — Bernama

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