Health Ministry to take action on ‘energy sticks’ sold online

PETALING JAYA: The Health Ministry says it will act on complaints from the public about “energy sticks”, a vape-like nasal inhaler, being sold online.

For a start, it said that advertisements for the products – which have not been registered with the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency as required by the Sale of Drugs Act 1952 – will be taken down from popular ecommerce platforms.

“Monitoring and enforcement action will also be taken (against) the sellers,” Health director-general Datuk Dr Muhammad Radzi Abu Hassan said in a statement yesterday.

“Early checks on (popular) ecommerce platforms by the ministry found local and foreign sellers advertising and selling the product.

“The ministry, through its Pharmacy Enforcement Division, will take enforcement action by removing the advertisements,” he added.

He said those who sell unregistered health products are in breach of Rule 7(1) (a) of the Control of Drugs and Cosmetics Regulations 1984.

Those found guilty face a fine of up to RM25,000 or up to three years’ jail or both for the first offence, the Health director-general said.

For subsequent offences, those convicted can be fined up to RM50,000, jailed for up to five years, or both.

Dr Muhammad Radzi reminded consumers to make sure that any products with claimed health benefits have the ministry-issued hologram sticker and product registration number before buying them.

“The Health Ministry is committed to protecting the health and wellbeing of the public through continuous monitoring.

“The people are encouraged to make complaints and channel information to the Pharmacy Enforcement Division at or the Public Complaints Management Agency (Sispaa) at or at 03-78413200,” he added.

It was reported recently that the ministry had received complaints from a public health group about the availability of the product, priced as low as RM2.50 and targeting young children.

Local advertisements for the vape-like products show two-pronged nasal inhalers, which come in a range of common vape flavours.

Minister Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad said on Sunday (Feb 4) immediate action would be taken to curb the sale of such products.

Earlier yesterday, Deputy Education Minister Wong Kah Woh urged schools throughout the country to immediately report any cases of “energy stick” use among students.

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