In a statement yesterday, Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah (pic) said the ministry’s Pharmacy Enforcement Division and the Public Health Development Division inspected 78 premises in an operation nationwide on Tuesday. E-cigarette liquid typically consists of 95% propylene glycol and glycerin, with the balance being flavouring, additives and nicotine, though there are also blends without propylene glycol, flavouring and nicotine.
In the operation, authorities seized 66,988 containers of e-cigarette liquid suspected to contain nicotine.
“The ministry viewed the issue of students smoking e-cigarettes seriously,” said Dr Noor Hisham, who added that any preparation containing nicotine is a preparation under Group C Poison that is regulated under the Poisons Act 1952.
The supply and sale of any preparation containing nicotine is only allowed by licensed pharmacists and registered doctors for the purpose of treatment.
Under the Sale of Drugs Act 1952 and Control of Drugs and Cosmetics Regulations 1984, any preparation which contains nicotine will have to be registered with the Drug Control Authority, he said.
Unregistered manufacturing of, ownership and sale of the product are against regulations, and offenders can be punished under Section 12 (1) of the Sale of Drugs Act, said Dr Noor Hisham, who added that all the cases would be investigated under Section 13 of the Poisons Act.
Offenders can be fined not more than RM3,000 or jailed not more than a year, or both.
Those aged 18 and below are not allowed to smoke or chew or buy or possess any tobacco products, whether for own use or otherwise, and any tobacco or e-cigarette products found in their possession can be confiscated, and they can be fined not more than RM1,000.
The ministry urged manufacturers and sellers to stop activities related to products with nicotine, and for parents to monitor their children.Dr Noor Hisham said the use of e-cigarettes as a form of treatment to quit smoking required further studies, and that the World Health Organization had not endorsed it.
Those who wish to stop smoking should get medical advice or visit jomquit.moh.gov.my, while complaints on e-cigarettes can be directed to pharmacy.gov.my or any Pharmacy Enforcement branch or by calling 03-7841 3200.