Only pharmacists and docs can sell nicotine vapes

  • Nation
  • Wednesday, 11 Nov 2015

KUALA LUMPUR: From now on, e-cigarettes that contain nicotine can only be sold by licensed pharmacists and registered medical practitioners, says Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah (pic).

The decision was made at a special committee meeting on e-cigarettes in Putrajaya on Monday.

“E-cigarettes with nicotine require registration under the Control of Drugs and Cosmetic Regulations 1984, Sale of Drugs Act 1952.

“It can only be sold by licensed pharmacists and registered medical practitioners, and must be recorded,” he said in a statement issued after the meeting. A medical practitioner is generally defined as a qualified and licensed person who works as a doctor or physician in a health facility or private practice.

The committee was formed after Health Minister Datuk Dr S. Subramaniam announced that it would resolve issues related to electronic cigarettes.

He said that any statement on e-cigarette would be issued by the special committee and he would not answer any question on the issue.

Unauthorised sale of nicotine is an offence under the Poison Act 1952.

Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Deputy Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Bashah Md Hanipah had earlier said that the ministry was in discussions with various agencies, including the Health Ministry and Sirim Bhd, to formulate guidelines and price adjustments on the product.

He said the ministry had no plans to restrict the importation of vape into the country but consumers’ safety and health must be given priority.

“We will not stop them (vape sellers from selling the product), if not openly sold, they will sell it in the black market. We have to come up with a win-win situation for all parties,” he added.

Meanwhile, the president of National Cancer Society of Malaysia (NCSM), Dr Saunthari Somasundaram, said that research had shown that e-cigarettes contained cancer-causing toxins, while nicotine-free e-cigarettes “juices” contained substances that could harm the lungs, such as acrolein.

“While not a carcinogen, nicotine is a tumour-promoter as it alters the normal function of cells,” she said.

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