Sabah clamps down on ‘vape candies’

A boy exhales smoke from a vape candy in this screenshot from a video clip shared on social media.

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah’s health authorities have confiscated hundreds of smoke-emitting candies after fears that they could influence children to take up the smoking habit.

State Health and Well-being Minister Frankie Poon said officers confiscated 766 items of the “Ghost Candy” and “Smoke Candy” in towns across Sabah for labelling offences under the Food Acts 1983.

“Alerts have also been issued to all schools to identify and halt the sale of these products at their premises,” he told FMT.

Poon said the clampdown on the sale of the candies was in parallel with a nationwide probe into the issue by the health ministry’s Food Safety and Quality Division and Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs.

Yesterday, Health Minister Dzulkefly Ahmad expressed concern that the cigarette-like product was unscrupulously sold and marketed to schoolchildren.

“We have observed the issue and will take immediate action. We cannot allow it,” he said.

It was reported that the candies were rampantly sold in Papar, Kota Kinabalu and other areas in Sabah.

Meanwhile, Sabah Deputy Chief Minister Wilfred Madius Tangau said the candies could also be easily bought in shops in his constituency of Tuaran.

“This product should be recalled and its sales banned,” he said in a Facebook post.