Include us in drafting laws on vaping, urge industry players

PETALING JAYA: E-cigarette and vape outlet operators in Malaysia want to be involved in any discussion on regulating the industry as the government moves to propose a new Bill on the matter in Parliament.

The groups welcome regulating the industry but want the government to discuss the matter with industry players before introducing any laws.

Malaysian Vape Chamber of Commerce (MVCC) president Syed Azaudin Syed Ahmad urged the government to have more comprehensive consultation sessions with stakeholders before introducing the legislation.

“Consultation sessions with the industry is important as comprehensive rules on the production, import, export, distribution, sale and usage of the vape products need to be reviewed together.

“This is especially so with matters related to licensing, taxation, quality and standard of products, ” he said, adding that many Malaysian vape products were exported to countries such as Britain.

“The vape industry has created more jobs in Malaysia, attracts domestic and foreign investment and reduced the number of cigarette smokers, ” he said.

One of MVCC’s proposals, he added, was for the government to lift the blanket ban on vape liquid with nicotine and instead cap the amount of nicotine.

“The industry calls for the government to introduce regulations to allow sale of vape liquid with nicotine, not exceeding 5% of the total liquid content, and sold as a regulated consumer product, consistent with other countries with regulations for the vape industry, ” he said.

Vaporiser liquids containing nicotine have been banned in the country since November 2015.

Last Sunday, Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad said that they would be tabling a new Bill on the usage of tobacco, vape, electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) and shisha in Parliament by the March 2020 sitting.He said the ministry was now in the final phase of study to formulate the Bill which is described as more comprehensive to handle various current issues.

It was reported that the new Tobacco Control and Smoking Act has been submitted to the Attorney General for review, and it is expected to be tabled in Parliament next year.Tobacco products in Malaysia are currently regulated under the Food Act, though there is no specific laws with regard to e-cigarettes and vape products.

Malaysia E-Vaporisers and Tobacco Alternative Association secretary Zain Azrul called for more dialogue sessions between e-cigarette groups and the government regarding regulations governing the sale and usage of such products before the Bill is tabled in Parliament next year.

“We appreciate if more discussions can be carried out between the government and industry players to ensure both parties will benefit once the law is introduced in Malaysia, ” he said.

He added that the groups, representing some 5,000 vape and e-cigarette related enterprises in Malaysia, had already submitted proposals to regulate the industry in 2015.

“We are especially concerned about the underground market and online sales of e-cigarettes, which is linked to the sales to underage users. “We have agreed that we not only need to regulate e-cigarette retailers, but also liquid producers, wholesalers and distributors, ” he said.

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