Gobind mulls calls to ban online sale of e-cigs, vape

KUALA LUMPUR: The Communications and Multimedia Ministry is looking into calls to ban the online promotion and sale of e-cigarettes and vape, says minister Gobind Singh Deo.

He said the matter would be discussed with the Health Ministry and Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC).

“For example, illegal gaming is something people have asked us to ban but there are many companies or sites like that and if action is taken, new sites pop up so there are problems dealing with it.

“We will discuss the matter to see what we can do,” he said.

On Sept 23, Federation of Malaysian Consumers Association’s (Fomca) Tobacco Control Initiative@Smoke Free Malaysia coordinator Muhammad Sha’ani Abdullah wrote to the minister, calling for an online ban based on the “precautionary principle”.

Sha’ani urged the ministry to direct all social media platform owners to stop promoting, advertising and selling e-cigarettes and vape immediately.

Citing media reports of the harmful effects of vape and e-cigarettes experienced by users in the US and Canada, he said eight had died and over 500 suffered serious health problems.

StarEdu reported that kids got their supply online easily as anyone who wants to sell something can just post it on Instagram or Facebook and whoever is interested, can direct message the seller.

In June, Deputy Health Minister Dr Lee Boon Chye said there were still many online promotions on vape products and e-cigarettes, targeting students, although various efforts had been made to shut down such websites.

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