KUALA LUMPUR: Vape and electronic cigarettes must be regulated immediately through future rules, says Youth and Sports Minister Hannah Yeoh.
She said this is important not only for athletes but also for the community at large.
Yeoh told the Dewan Rakyat that her ministry had gazetted complexes under its purview to be free of cigarette smoking and vaping.
“This is in consideration of other existing tobacco control legislations stating that smoking is restricted in stadiums and sports areas,” she said during her ministry’s winding-up speech at the committee level on Tuesday (Nov 21).
Yeoh said vapes were among the items prohibited from being brought into stadiums.
Other items include cigarettes, lighters, power banks and umbrellas, as they were classified as items that could endanger others.
“Safety wardens will conduct physical checks on those entering stadiums, while Health Ministry officials will monitor and fine those caught smoking or vaping in the facilities,” she said.
Yeoh said the rollout of the Rakan Muda programme next year would also feature awareness campaigns against the use of nicotine and vapes, as it had a bigger budget.
“The Youth and Sports Ministry does not condone smoking or vaping,” Yeoh said.
She was responding to an earlier suggestion by Wan Ahmad Fayshal Wan Ahmad Kamal (PN-Machang) on whether the Rakan Muda programme could be leveraged to educate youths against vaping, as it did with the “youth hate drugs” (belia benci dadah) programme.
At a press conference, Wan Ahmad Fayshal mooted for the Control of Smoking Products for Public Health Bill 2023 to be passed.
He said the issue of vaping “became more problematic” when nicotine was exempted from the poisons list earlier this year.
“The Health Minister said the second reading of the bill will be tabled before the end of this sitting.
“We hope it will really be tabled,” he said.