New law needed to control e-cigarettes, vape, shisha, says social activist

PETALING JAYA: A new bill should be proposed to control the use of electronic cigarettes, vape and shisha, says social activist Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye.

Lee, who is also senior vice-chairman of the Malaysia Crime Prevention Foundation (MCPF), said the bill should also take into account similar products that could influence children such as the "ghost smoke" candy.

"The absence of specific laws has hampered enforcement so the special committee that was recently established to tackle the issue and the proposed law should find ways to control the use of vape, shisha and electronic cigarettes, including banning their sale among students and children," he said.

Lee said some vape fluids contained nicotine, which could lead to addiction, so a special prohibition under the law was needed to make it easier to curb the purchase and use of such products.

He added that the National Cancer Society of Malaysia (NCSM) has also called for a ban on the sale of electronic cigarettes to youths after reports of vape liquids laced with drugs.

Simultaneously, Lee said all stakeholders must work to take stern action against the sale of the "ghost smoke" candy among children and students.

"Parents should not shirk their responsibility and leave it to the school or the authorities to monitor their children and must always supervise their children to ensure that they are not involved with vape or 'ghost smoke' candy," he said.

He said guardians must also keep in mind that there was a possibility that children who consumed the "ghost smoke" candy may want to try the real thing.

"Most of those involved in smoking and drug abuse often started out of curiosity or just did it for fun with their friends," he said.

Recently, the Health Ministry proposed for the candy to be banned after a video showing children mimicking smoking while eating the sweet went viral online.

It added that while the candy was safe for consumption, information on the label did not match the sweet's contents thus violating labelling requirements.

The Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry seized boxes of the candy in a nationwide crackdown. 

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