Negri vape sellers see sharp drop in business

  • Nation
  • Monday, 18 Jan 2016

SEREMBAN: Vape sellers here claim that their business has seen a drastic drop since the fatwa and health authorities-organised campaigns asking people to stop the use of electronic cigarettes.

Datuk Azwan Abd Manas, who runs two vape outlets here, said his business was down by 90%.

He said he was at a dialogue with officials from the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (Jakim) and the Health Ministry in Selangor last Monday and was again told that vaping was bad for health.

Azwan said business was so bad that one outlet made only an average RM25 per day and the proprietor had to fork out RM4,000 in rental.

The National Fatwa Council last month declared the use of e-cigarettes and vaping as haram (forbidden) for Muslims.

The Negri Sembilan government had said it would not shut down the outlets, including those owned by Muslims, although it concurred with the state Islamic authorities that vaping was haram for Muslims.

An operator of Vape Empire, who wished to be known only as Ben, said business had reduced by half.

“Some of my customers have given up the habit although no one can say for sure that vaping is bad for health,” he said, adding that his customers were racially mixed.

Ben also said his business was affected after government servants cut down on buying vape liquid.

“Some of them used to buy three or four bottles a week but will get only one now since vaping is no longer allowed at their workplace and they risk disciplinary action,” he added.

Darren, who works at Vape Paradise, said business declined by at least 60%.

“A good number of our Muslim customers have given up vaping following the fatwa.”

But over at Space Circle, business continues as normal.

“There have been some effects after the fatwa but it is still manageable,” said the owner Zakir, who added that he had non-Muslim customers too.

Self-employed Amran Mohd Diah, 32, claimed that he had given up both smoking and vaping.

The state chapter of the Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism wants the state government to impose a total ban on the sale of vapes and related paraphernalia.

Its chairman V. Kandasamy said since the state authorities had decreed vaping as haram for Muslims, the same should apply to others.

Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan had noted that while vaping was haram, selling the gadgets was not.

Several state governments have banned vaping completely.

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