Vape, shisha not included in smoking ban

PUTRAJAYA: Health Minister Dzulkefly Ahmad says the ban on smoking at eateries to be implemented beginning Jan 1 next year does not include vaporised liquid nicotine (vape) or shisha.

However, he said the ministry was still discussing whether to include these in the regulation.

“For the time being, the ban will only involve tobacco products. For vape and shisha, we will take regulatory and legal approaches but in other legislative categories,” he said at the award and recognition of the Blue Ribbon Campaign 2018 here last night.

The campaign has been held since 2013 to protect the public from the effects of cigarette smoke through advocacy efforts to create non-smoking zones.

The ban on smoking will be enforced at all covered, air-conditioned and open-concept restaurants and stalls. Anyone caught breaching the ban will face a fine of RM10,000, while eateries that fail to enforce it will be fined RM2,500.

On a separate matter, Dzulkefly said the practice of infant female circumcision by Muslims in Malaysia differed from the female genital mutilation (FGM) practised in other countries.

“Infant female circumcision differs from FGM. We have to be very careful in discussing this issue as it involves various aspects including social and cultural factors.”

He was responding to the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia, which recently accused Putrajaya of making misleading statements at the Universal Periodic Review on human rights in Geneva, Switzerland, where its delegates reportedly defended FGM as a “cultural obligation”.