The Malaysian Society for Harm Reduction (MSHR) has called on the Malaysian government to reassess the generational endgame (GEG) measure regarding vaping, reports the New Straits Times.
Sharifa Ezat Wan Puteh, MSHR chairman, stated that many smokers are using vaping to quit smoking cigarettes and that the GEG could be counterproductive as it positions vaping as equally harmful as smoking.
“While vaping has health risks, we cannot ignore scientific evidence that vaping is at least 95 percent less harmful than smoking,” said Puteh. “Several reputable public health organizations have made that estimate and endorsed by multiple developed countries. In addition, vape is also recognized as an effective tool to reduce smoking hazards and rates.”
The MSHR has suggested that vaping be regulated and training be provided to vendors on proper ways to switch to nicotine-replacement therapies and vapor products. It also suggests forming an independent committee driven by science and evidence to conduct in-depth research on vapor products.
“If we look at the decline in the smoking rates in countries with higher vaping rates, it speeds up as the vaping rate increase[s],” said Puteh.
“Legislative process for the new bill will take a lengthy time,” she said. “In addition, a bill should only be tabled with detailed discussion and studies on the proposed GEG measure that the previous minister proposed.
“Given this, we believe the government should take immediate steps to regulate vape products using existing laws to speed up regulations on the products to protect consumers from prohibited ingredients by introducing standards on the product as well as prohibiting access by minors.”