Vape ban in Johor to remain

JOHOR BARU: Johor will not rescind its ban on the sales of vape that has been enforced since 2016, even with Putrajaya imposing an excise tax on e-cigarette liquids or gels containing nicotine from April 1 this year.

State Housing and Local Government committee chairman Datuk Mohd Jafni Md Shukor said the prohibition on vape, including its related products, has been in place for about seven years now.

“We are still enforcing the state wide ban on selling of vape, including its liquid or gel, which contains nicotine.

“There is no reason for Johor to change our stand,” he said when contacted yesterday.

He added that the ban on the sales of vape at business premises comes under the jurisdiction of the respective local councils, while those caught using vapes in public areas will have action taken against them by the state Health Department.

“So far, none of the local councils in Johor have issued business operating licences to those selling vape and related products.

“Those that have information on premises found to be selling vape together with its liquid or gel containing nicotine should forward the matter to the respective local councils so that enforcement action can be taken,” he said.

On Jan 1, 2016, Johor officially became the first state in the country to ban vaping, with enforcement on users as well as traders selling them.

The decision was made following a decree by Johor Ruler Sultan Ibrahim Ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar, who had ordered a ban on vaping in the state.

Last Sunday, the Finance Ministry announced that makers of vape nicotine products have until April 30 to register their manufacturing activities for tax purposes, or else they can be compounded for late registration by the Customs Department.

“Early registration will ensure comprehensive industry compliance and smooth tax collection by May 2023,” the ministry said.

It added that licensing registration under the Excise Act 1976 could also be done online through the MyExcise System at the link

The ministry noted that by removing liquids or gels containing nicotine from the List of Poisons under the Poisons Act 1952, the Health Ministry will be able to present a new Bill to regulate all smoking products, including nicotine-containing materials.

According to the Federal Government Gazette Excise Duties (Amendment) Order 2023, the government will impose an excise tax of 40sen per ml on e-cigarettes liquid or gel containing nicotine from April 1.

In announcing Budget 2023 last month, Finance Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said the government planned to impose an excise tax on liquid or gel nicotine-containing products.

“As mentioned in the Budget 2023 announcement, half of the excise duty revenue collected from the nicotine products will be channelled to the Health Ministry to improve the quality of health services,” read the Finance Ministry statement.

The government estimated that nicotine-containing vape liquids that are currently being sold without being taxed have a market value of RM2bil.

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