PUTRAJAYA: The Health Ministry remains firm that electronic cigarettes containing nicotine should be banned, as the habit can affect the public’s health in the long-term.
Heath deputy director-general Dr Lokman Hakim Sulaiman said the ministry would not support any activity which could increase health problems among the younger generation.
He said the decision was reached based on a study conducted by the technical committee to review the effects of electronic cigarettes and shisha on health.
The committee has recommended that the government ban electronic cigarettes.
Dr Lokman said, the health ministry defined the electronic cigarette containing nicotine as e-cigarette and electronic cigarette without nicotine as vape.
“But most people cannot differentiate between the e-cigarette and vape. For them, vape and e-cigarette are the same thing. In addition, there is also nicotine-contained liquid vape,” he told a press conference here today.
Dr Lokman said only licensed pharmacists could sell products containing nicotine to recover from the nicotine addiction.
“The sale and use of e-cigarettes containing nicotine liquid are subject to the Poisons Act 1952 and Food Act 1983 under the Control of Tobacco Products Regulations 2004,” he said.
Hence Dr Lokman said the ministry would take action against sellers and users of e-cigarettes that contained nicotine as stated under the Poisons Act 1952.
He said the ministry also would intensify the anti e-cigarette and vape campaign such as “Tak Nak Merokok” or “No Smoking” campaign.
“The ministry’s message to the community is do not use e-cigarettes or vaping as it is harmful to your health in the long term,” he said.
Meanwhile, chairman of the technical committee to review the effects of electronic cigarettes and shisha on health, Prof Dr Abdul Razak Mutallif said although there was no nicotine in the vape the latest trend of vaping would create a new kind of addiction among society.
“The research we conducted found a lot of long-term effects that will produce new cancer in the future,” said Dr Abdul Razak, who is also a senior medical consultant of the Institute of Respiratory Medicine, Kuala Lumpur Hospital.