• May 26, 2024

Call for Measures to Limit Nicotine Harm

 Call for Measures to Limit Nicotine Harm
Image: Tobacco Reporter archive

The Malaysian Council for Tobacco Control (MCTC) has called for the government to look into measures to limit harm and exposure of youth to nicotine after the Health Ministry exempted nicotine liquids and gels from the Poisons Act 1952, reports The Star.

“We are deeply aggrieved by the decision of the Health Ministry and the government to continue with its move to remove nicotine liquid and gel preparations from the poisons list for the purposes of using it for electronic cigarettes and electric vaporizing devices in the form of liquid or gel,” the MCTC said.

“This move had been carried out despite exhortations and pleas from thousands of health professionals including those within the MCTC umbrella.

“We are deeply concerned with the dangerous precedent that this has set where the health of Malaysians, especially children and young people, have been put at risk merely for the idea of raising revenue.

“There is little transparency available on actual taxation measures, so it is not understood in terms of timelines on when actual tax collection would actually even begin.”

“We urge the Health Ministry and federal government to ensure the wellbeing of its people are looked into, with short-term, mid-term and long-term measures.

“For short-term measures, the government needs to put active measures in place to limit the exposure of children and young people to nicotine in vaping and other e-cigarette devices. This may be done via cooperation with other agencies and ministries since there are no significant health legislative tools which may be used to limit harm at this point.

“Mid-term measures include the need to table the Control of Tobacco Products and Smoking Bill as per its original intent and content as quickly as possible. Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has given his commitment that this will be done in the next Parliament meeting in May, and we implore that this timeline be adhered to. Within the bill are comprehensive measures for vaping and electronic cigarettes—including key measures prohibiting its use to those under 18,” the council said.

The MCTC said long-term measures should include a comprehensive strategy to contain and control nicotine addiction.