Vape consumers rejects ban on vape

NST Sat, May 14, 2022 11:56pm - 6 months View Original


Sale of vape products are taking place nationwide in Malaysia. Therefore, the government must immediately put in place regulations or product guidelines to govern the industry so that consumers are buying products that comply with the laws. Spencer Pla

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian Vapers Alliance (MVA) has called for the Ministry of Health (MoH) to separate vape and cigarettes as it is not right to categorise both differently.

The local vape consumer association's statement responds to MoH's inclusion of vape in its generational end game proposal to ban the sale of cigarettes to anyone born after 2005.

MVA president Khairil Azizi Khairuddin said that globally, it had been recognised that vape and cigarettes are two different products.

"There is considerable evidence from international public health bodies showing vaping to be less harmful than cigarettes.

"It is wrong to have regulations for the vape to mirror cigarettes.

"Many other countries that have regulated vape, including the UK and New Zealand, treat vape as a tool that can aid with smoking cessation," he said in a statement.

"This proposal is sending the wrong message, and as adult consumers, we firmly believe that adult consumers cannot be deprived of their right to less harmful alternatives," added Khairil.

Khairil also pointed out that recently in the Philippines, one million vapers have shown their support for the passage of the Vape Bill that will be introduced to regulate vape products in the Philippines separately from cigarettes.

The Vape Bill focused on preventing minors' access, ensuring consumers have access to regulated products and reducing the harm caused by smoking cigarettes.

"Similarly, in Malaysia, various groups, from vape industry associations, consumer groups, and harm reduction advocators, have all voiced their support for introducing vape regulations.

"Cohesively, we have called for regulations to be introduced for years now, and yet, there has been a continued delay from the MoH," he said.

"We understand the Ministry's concern on youth vaping. But more importantly, regulations must be quickly introduced to put in place measures that would ensure minors have no access to the products," Khairil said.

For example, in the Philippines, the ongoing bill being discussed has such measures as mandating all physical retail and e-commerce websites to conduct age verification through valid government-issued identification cards. Failure to do so will lead to it being an offence.

"This is the right move and needs to be emulated in Malaysia immediately," Khairil added.

Khairil also added that the vape bill in the Philippines was pushed forward as there is recognition for the products to be regulated and comply with safety and product standards requirements so that consumers are not exposed to illicit and unregulated products.

"Sale of vape products are taking place nationwide in Malaysia. Therefore, the government must immediately put in place regulations or product guidelines to govern the industry so that consumers are buying products that comply with the laws.

"The MoH cannot continue to think of only finding ways to ban vape and delay regulations while ignoring the real issue at hand," he said.

MVA added that Malaysia's vape regulations should be based on aiming at encouraging smokers to quit smoking by switching to vape that is proven less harmful, similar to the Philippines' Vape Bill by putting in place regulations that are different from cigarettes and help smokers to switch such as allowing promotion and advertisement of vape products to smokers.

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