Malaysian e-cigarette and vapor industry stakeholders have lauded the federal government’s move to exempt nicotine as a controlled substance ahead of new taxation on vape products, reports Malay Mail.
Excluding liquid nicotine under the Poisons Act will allow the government to introduce proper regulatory frameworks like those in the U.K., New Zealand and Canada, according to the Malaysia Retail Electronic Cigarette Association (MRECA).
“Continuing to subject vape products containing nicotine under the Poisons Act does not help as it is not a suitable framework and does not work for the products,” said Datuk Adzwan Ab Manas, MRECA president. “With the exemption, vape liquids containing nicotine can be regulated appropriately, and this is where amendments to existing laws, such as the Control of Tobacco Product Regulations 2004, are required. This is important as it will then see controls in place instead of allowing the products to remain unregulated.”
“This is long-awaited news from the entire local vape industry,” said Malaysian Vape Chambers of Commerce Secretary-General Ridhwan Rosli. “The move to exempt liquid nicotine is crucial because now there are rules governing the unregulated industry.”
“Vape can be further controlled through existing legislation such as the Control of Tobacco Product Regulations 2004, whose revision would ensure they are not sold to those under the age of 18,” said Malaysian Vape Industry Advocacy president Rizani Zakaria.
The Ministry of Health has not consulted industry players since the proposed regulation was announced in the 2023 budget, according to Adzwan and Rizani.
“We have been in the dark since that announcement with no discussions nor consultation held with the ministry,” said Adzwan. “And the news about the potential exemption on nicotine for vape liquid should be discussed with industry players instead of it being communicated to the health NGOs [nongovernmental organizations]. At the same time, MRECA is of the opinion that the Generational Endgame (GEG) proposal requires further in-depth studies and consultations with all stakeholders, especially the industry players.”
Healthcare professionals have expressed discontent with the possibility of nicotine being removed from the controlled substances list.