Malaysia’s Health Ministry has categorized nicotine-replacement products as nonpoisons to make them more accessible to consumers, reports The New Straits Times.
Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said the move was done by granting an exemption to nicotine under the Poisons Act 1952 for products in the form of patches or gum registered under the Control of Drugs and Cosmetics Regulations 1984.
“This exception is expected to help smokers, who are motivated to quit smoking, in dealing with the withdrawal symptoms,” said Khairy.
At present, smokers who want to quit smoking have limited access to nicotine-replacement products as they are regulated under the Poisons Act 1952.
Under the law, nicotine is classified as a “Group C poison” and can be dispensed only by licensed pharmacists or registered medical practitioners.
The New Straits Times article made no mention of nicotine vapor products, which tobacco harm reduction advocates consider to be the most effect nicotine-replacement products on the market.
Malaysian lawmakers are currently considering the Control of Tobacco Product and Smoking Bill 2022, which, among other measures, would ban the sale of tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, to anyone born after 2007.