PUTRAJAYA: The Health Ministry is taking a proactive step by declaring nicotine replacement products as “non-poison” effective Thursday (Oct 6), paving the way for over-the-counter sales to help smokers quit smoking, says Khairy Jamaluddin.
It was done by exempting nicotine from control under the Poisons Act 1952 for products in the form of “patch” or “gum” registered under the Control of Drugs and Cosmetics Regulations 1984, which are used as aids to stop smoking.
The Health Minister said through the exemption, access to nicotine replacement products (or nicotine therapy) in the form of “patch” or “gum” is now easier and wider through over-the-counter purchases at retail or convenience stores, similar to that practised in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia.
"This exemption is also expected to help smokers who are motivated to quit smoking in managing withdrawal symptoms. Dependence on nicotine through patches or gum has been found to be less harmful than dependence on nicotine through cigarettes," he said in a statement.
According to Khairy, for now, smokers who want to quit smoking have limited access to nicotine therapy since nicotine is regulated under the Poisons Act 1952, which stipulates that its supply can only be stocked by licensed pharmacists or registered medical practitioners. - Bernama