Malaysia’s longtime ban on the sale of vaping products is set to end, according to the Malaysian Organization of Vape Entities (MOVE).
Taking effect on Aug. 3, the regulation of vaping devices precedes the imminent legalization of vape sales. It follows years of campaigning by MOVE and other tobacco harm reduction 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 labeled 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,” said Samsul Kamal Ariffin, president of MOVE.
Ariffin said that in recent months there have been frustrating parliamentary delays in progressing the Tobacco and Smoking Control Bill—not helped by the pending general election. However, with the safety standards now gazetted, it sets in train the legalization of vape sales.
“Regulating, not banning, vaping will not only save smokers lives, [but] it will generate much-needed tax revenue for our country, which is desperately needed post-pandemic,” said Ariffin. “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.”
“The government has done well in preparing the legislation and regulation of products deemed 95 percent 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,” said Ariffin.
The Coalition of Asia Pacific Tobacco Harm Reduction Advocates (CAPHRA), too, expects Malaysia’s smoking rates to decline after the legalization of vapor products. “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,” said Nancy Loucas, executive coordinator of CAPHRA.
“We’re particularly proud of our member organization MOVE and Samsul’s tireless advocacy over many years. The third 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,” said Loucas.