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Malaysia set to lift ban on e-cigarette sales

Malaysia’s long-time ban on the sale of vaping products is set to end, saving thousands of lives every year, says leading local advocacy group MOVE (Malaysian Organization of Vape Entities).

Taking effect on 3 August, the regulation of vaping devices precedes the imminent legalization of vape sales. It follows years of campaigning by MOVE and other Tobacco Harm Reduction (THR) supporters.

The Malaysian Government has now moved to gazette the Trade Descriptions (Certification and Marking) of Electronic Cigarette Devices Order 2022 under the Trade Descriptions Act 2011.Manufacturers and importers will need to ensure all devices are certified and labelled to show consumers that safety standards have been met and the products are safe to use. All e-liquids will need to be registered.

“This is historic news after a long-fought battle. It paves the way for a legalized market and safer products. Regulating vaping products, restricting sales to adults, and applying significant penalties to any breaches will help many more Malaysian smokers to quit deadly cigarettes,” says Samsul Kamal Ariffin, President of MOVE.

Mr Ariffin says in recent months there have been frustrating parliamentary delays in progressing the Tobacco & Smoking Control Bill – not helped by the pending general election. However, with the safety standards now gazetted, it sets in train the legalization of vapes sales.

“Regulating, not banning, vaping will not only save smokers lives it will generate much needed tax revenue for our country which is desperately needed post pandemic.

“This is not only good news for smokers and their loved ones, but every Malaysian will benefit from the extra revenue gained from vape manufacturing, importing and sales. Up until now it has been a black market with unapproved products not contributing tax and with no safety assurances,” he says.

MOVE pays tribute to the leadership of Malaysia’s Health Minister YB Khairy Jamaluddin who championed the Government’s decision to regulate the vape industry.

“The Government has done well in preparing the legislation and regulation of products deemed 95% less harmful than combustible tobacco. It fully understands that making safer nicotine products legally accessible is the only way to seriously reduce Malaysia’s unnecessarily high smoking rates,” says Mr Ariffin.

CAPHRA (Coalition of Asia Pacific Tobacco Harm Reduction Advocates) agrees that Malaysia’s leadership on vaping will see the country’s smoking rates will dramatically fall.

“Malaysia will join 67 other progressive countries worldwide which have adopted regulatory frameworks on safer nicotine products. Importantly, all of them have subsequently registered a dramatic decline in smoking,” says Nancy Loucas, Executive Coordinator of CAPHRA.

CAPHRA says effective advocacy from Malaysian consumer groups was key to the Government’s decision last year to legalise liquid nicotine and move forward with regulation.

“We’re particularly proud of our member organisation MOVE and Samsul’s tireless advocacy over many years. The 3rd of August is worthy of a big celebration and will be well noted across the Asia Pacific region. Vaping bans fail badly – as Australia is discovering the hard way,” says Ms Loucas.

A global collaboration of THR consumer groups, sCOPe, has launched a comprehensive library of online panel discussions and presentations. In November 2021, sCOPe broadcast around the clock during COP9 – the 9th Conference of Parties for the World Health Organization’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC). To access sCOPe’s online library visit, https://bit.ly/319zzkx

Boasting over 14,000 testimonials, CAPHRA is calling on those who’ve quit cigarettes through smoke-free nicotine alternatives to tell their story on www.righttovape.org

For a free digital media repository on tobacco harm reduction in Asia Pacific – including media releases, images and graphics – please visit https://apthrmedia.org

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