KUALA LUMPUR: The Control of Smoking Products for Public Health Bill 2023, also known as the Generational Endgame (GEG) Bill, has been referred to the parliamentary select committee (PSC) on health yet again.
Health minister Dr Zaliha Mustafa said PSC members, MPs, professional bodies and NGOs had demanded some matters under the bill to be further reviewed during an engagement session last week.
“It is important for this bill to obtain the undivided support of all parties,” Zaliha said while tabling the bill for its first reading in the Dewan Rakyat.
“Therefore, the health ministry proposes that this bill be referred to the health PSC, which will act as a check and balance and take into account the views of all stakeholders.”
This is the second time that the bill has been referred to a PSC, after it was first tabled by the then health minister Khairy Jamaluddin last year.
The proposed law seeks to ban the use, purchase and sale of cigarettes and vape products to those born after 2007.
Zaliha reiterated that the ministry was committed to ensuring that the GEG bill would be passed by Parliament for the benefit of future generations.
Last month, the Consumers’ Association of Penang (CAP) urged Putrajaya not to delay the tabling of the bill, citing speculation that it would be referred to the PSC again for further inspection.
In March, Putrajaya decided to exclude liquid or gel nicotine under the Poisons Act 1952, a move that drew backlash from doctors, pharmacists, and consumer groups too.
The Malaysian Pharmacists Society said this will lead to an increase in the use of e-cigarettes and vaping, while the Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) was concerned that there would be no control to prohibit the sale of vape that contained nicotine to minors.
Meanwhile, the Galen Centre for Health and Social Policy said removing nicotine from the scheduled list of controlled substances left a gap in the law regarding the marketing and sale of products containing nicotine, especially vape and e-cigarettes.
Galen CEO Azrul Khalib stressed the importance of getting the bill tabled and passed in the current sitting to ensure that the relevant controls are in place to prevent such marketing and sale of products containing nicotine, especially to youths.
We are live on Telegram, subscribe here for breaking news and the latest announcements.