Malaysia’s Ministry of Health is making good progress, with its imminent legislation to regulate vaping globally important, says the Coalition of Asia Pacific Tobacco Harm Reduction Advocates (CAPHRA).
CAPHRA says considerable and effective advocacy from local consumer groups over recent years was key to the Government’s decision last year to legalise liquid nicotine and move forward with regulation.
Malaysian vape advocates and users also applaud the Ministry of Health’s efforts as it now prepares the new act to strictly regulate the safety and sale of vaping products.
“High product standards are critical, ensuring all vaping products sold in the open market have guaranteed safety. We also support the regulation of all online sales and advertising in line with tobacco products to protect our youth,” says Samsul Kamal Ariffin, President of MOVE (Malaysian Organization of Vape Entities) and CAPHRA member.
He says regulating vape liquids and lifting the sales ban will see Malaysia’s smoking rate fall considerably. Giving smokers much better access to harm reduced products will reduce the serious health risks and unnecessary deaths associated with combustible tobacco.
“I am proud that the Malaysian Government has pushed back on the World Health Organization’s anti-vaping agenda. As an ex-smoker, vaping has improved my health and arguably saved my life yet the WHO has pressured countries like mine to ban it. Thankfully our Government and Ministry of Health have instead listened to the many citizens like me who’ve had considerable success with vaping,” says Mr Ariffin.
Malaysia is one of the largest vape markets in the world despite nicotine long being illegal to sell except for medical purposes. With progressive vaping legislation set to be enacted and risk-proportionate regulation imminent, MOVE believes the country’s public health and international reputation will only strengthen.
Nancy Loucas, Executive Coordinator of CAPHRA, says MOVE and other Malaysian vaping advocates have worked tirelessly with the Government and health officials to shift vaping from a heavily restricted medicalised product to being a more accessible option for smokers keen to quit.
“Despite its incredible effectiveness in reducing smoking rates and deaths, many countries in Asia-Pacific still insist on banning vaping. Malaysia’s pending legislation and regulation will send a big message to the world that vaping is the future, not a foe,” says Nancy Loucas.
A new global collaboration of THR consumer groups, sCOPe, has now launched a comprehensive library of online panel discussions and presentations. In November, 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 nearly 15,000 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