Ban vaping, shisha at eateries too, Putrajaya urged

The use of electronic cigarettes has been included as a definition of smoking under the amended Control of Tobacco Product Regulations. (AFP pic)

KUALA LUMPUR: Electronic cigarettes (vaping) and shisha should be included in the smoking ban to be imposed on all eateries from Jan 1, said Malaysian Pharmacy Academy principal Assoc Prof Dr Mohamad Haniki Nik Mohamed.

He said that apart from maintaining public health, the use of electronic cigarettes had been included as a definition of smoking under the amended Control of Tobacco Product Regulations.

“We also know that nearly all vape flavours contain nicotine, which is a controlled item under the Poisons Act 1952 and Food Act 1983 and can only be sold by registered medical practitioners like pharmacists or doctors.

“Vapour produced from vaping activities, regardless of whether the flavours contain nicotine or not, can affect the people’s health and comfort,” he told Bernama.

Shisha, he said, contained ingredients from tobacco, which were also included under the Control of Tobacco Product Regulations, and should be banned.

Health Minister Dzulkefly Ahmad had earlier said that vape and shisha were not included in the ban but his ministry was holding discussions on enforcing regulations involving the products.

Haniki said although the proposal to set up special areas for users of tobacco-related products at eateries should be considered, it would be better for them to stop smoking by taking medicines approved by the health ministry.

“For example, they can chew nicotine gum. The best thing to do is to quit smoking or stop using any tobacco products so that the risk of illness and death could be significantly reduced,” he said.

Meanwhile, he also suggested that all tobacco-related products, be it cigarettes, vape or shisha, be sold only at special licensed premises to control their usage.

“For now, there are many unregistered tobacco products, including cigarettes and vape flavours. If we limit their sale to licensed premises maintained by registered medical practitioners, then we can control it as we know who are the sellers,” he said.