Author: Tarmizi Anuwar

Smart regulation helps prevent underage vaping

KUALA LUMPUR, 27 January 2023 – The Consumer Choice Center (CCC) agrees with Malaysia’s Health Minister Dr Zaliha Mustafa regarding concerns about the sale of vape products to children.

According to the representative of the Malaysian Consumer Choice Center, Tarmizi Anuwar does not support vaping by youth or children under 18 years of age and suggests that the government quickly implement smart laws to regulate the sale and marketing of vape products. 

“Underage children should not be allowed to buy vape products. In order to avoid or reduce the risk of this happening, the government needs to create a separate law or expand current tobacco regulations for the sale and marketing of vape.”

“There are several steps that the government can take including introducing smart regulations and enforcing strict age restrictions on vaping devices and liquids at the point of sale and using modern age verification technology for online sales.”

“The absence of laws will make it easier for children to obtain vapes from black market activities and illegal trade.”

Elaborating on Dr Zaliha’s statement regarding the classification of nicotine under the Poisons Act 1952, he said, “Nicotine replacement products have already been exempted from the Poisons Act 1952 in October last year. This means that nicotine is no longer considered a non-toxic product.”

“Technically, vape can be considered as a nicotine replacement product because the main purpose is to be used as an aid to quit smoking.”

“However, this is one of the areas of public policy that still need to be improved so that there is no confusion.”

In addition, Tarmizi emphasized that this law is also important in differentiating vape products between responsible adult users and children.

“This law is important to ensure that adult consumers have a legitimate choice to choose products that are less risky and harmful and move towards a healthier lifestyle.”

“The government is also not justified in using this argument to limit access to responsible users because it has not yet been proven about reports or articles that link vaping as a gateway to smoking.”

Based on an analytical survey by Lee, Coombs dan Afolalu (2018) said the actual factors of vaping among youth have yet to be proven. In addition, according to the Royal College of Physicians, reports stating that teenagers who use vaping are at risk of potentially giving birth to a generation affected by nicotine are not based on evidence.

CCC supports MOH to conduct full re-assessment on Tobacco Bill

THE Consumer Choice Centre (CCC) which represents consumers in over 100 countries across the globe has commended newly minted Health Minister Dr Zaliha Mustafa for taking the right measure to re-assess the Tobacco Bill.

Recently Dr Zaliha said the proposed Tobacco and Smoking Products Control Bill 2022 will be reviewed and re-evaluated before a decision is being made. The PKR-Pakatan Harapan (PH) MP for Sekijang is spot on for mentioning that implementation of any key policy must be pursued gradually or on a step-by-step basis and not drastically.

Concurring with the decision of Dr Zaliha, CCC Malaysia associate Tarmizi Anuwar said some of the proposed measures which include the Generational End Game (GEG) policy is too extreme and has created a lot of complexity.

He also pointed out the need to differentiate tobacco products from vape given the latter’s potential as a less harmful product to help reduce the number of cigarette smokers in the country.

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Memperkasa hak pengguna syarikat penerbangan

Setiap hari lebih daripada 100,000 penerbangan berlaku di seluruh dunia.

Dalam kesibukan itu, sudah tentu akan ada risiko gangguan seperti penerbangan ditunda atau dibatalkan, kehilangan atau kerosakan bagasi, dinafikan menaiki pesawat kerana lebihan tempahan, kehilangan tempahan atau masalah yang lain.

Semakin kerap penerbangan, semakin tinggi kebarangkalian masalah seperti itu timbul.

Oleh sebab itu, Kod Perlindungan Pengguna Penerbangan Malaysia (MACPC) diwujudkan pada 2016. Ia bertujuan untuk melindungi hak dan kepentingan pengguna dalam usaha untuk mewujudkan industri penerbangan yang berorientasikan pengguna.

Setelah enam tahun dilaksanakan Suruhanjaya Penerbangan Malaysia (Mavcom) menerima lebih daripada 22,000 aduan, dengan separuh pertama 2022 sahaja sebanyak 1,251 aduan direkodkan.

Sebanyak 99.1 peratus daripadanya melibatkan syarikat penerbangan.

Daripada jumlah itu 577 (46.1 peratus) aduan adalah mengenai pembatalan penerbangan, penjadualan semula dan tempahan dalam talian secara kolektif.

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GEG Will Impact Fundamental Rights of Consumers

The highest law in Malaysia is the Federal Constitution, which recognizes the fundamental rights of all Malaysians. If we do not focus on this matter, the validity of the law will be questioned, says R. Paneir Selvam

The Consumer Choice Center (CCC) recently organized an online webinar titled Ending Generation Endgame, Rules of Law and the Constitution.

The aim of this webinar was to examine and evaluate the Federal Constitution’s rule of law regarding the essence of the generation endgame.

According to the representative of the Malaysian Consumer Choice Center, Tarmizi Anuwar, individual freedom for consumers in the Federal Constitution was not given serious attention in the implementation of this generation endgame.

“Very little was discussed about fundamental rights or individual freedom in this matter. Until recently, Tun Zaki, the former Chief Justice, also touched on the issue of individual freedom in his statement. We can have many laws enacted, but what is more important is whether the law aims to achieve the goal of justice and equality”, he said.

The main panel for this webinar was R. Paneir Selvam, the principal consultant for the think tank Arunachala Research & Consultancy Sdn. Bhd. (ARRESCON).

In the discussion, Paneir said that the validity of the law could be questioned if the drafting of the law does not take into account the basic rights of consumers.

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Generation End Game policy will impact fundamental rights of consumers

THE validity of the law can be questioned if the drafting of the law does not take into account the basic rights of consumers.

A case in point is the Tobacco and Smoking Products Control Bill 2022 which culminated in the Generation End Game (GEG) has somehow curtailed the right of consumers to choose with the state apparently controlled consumer choices and actions.

“(If this happens), it is not impossible that the way we cut our hair and wear it will also be controlled in the future. This is a dangerous precedent and a wrong move by the Government,” opined Arunachala Research & Consultancy Sdn Bhd’s principal consultant R. Paneir Selvam.

“The highest law in Malaysia is the Federal Constitution which recognises the fundamental rights of all Malaysians. If we do not focus on this matter, the validity of the law will be questioned.”

According to the think tank founder who was the main panellist at the online webinar entitled Ending Generation End Game, Rules of Law and the Constitution organised by the Consumer Choice Centre (CCC) Malaysian chapter, the law enacted must uphold the principle of equality and consumer rights must be prioritised.

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End the vape ban 

In a move that sent waves across South and Southeast Asia last week, Thailand’s Public Health Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Anutin Charnvirakul iterated that the importation and production ban on vaping products will continue, depriving Thai smokers of provable alternatives to quit.

Harm-reducing alternatives to combustible cigarettes, including vaping devices, heated tobacco, and oral pouches, provide nicotine in a less harmful fashion, according to most major health bodies, but the minister was insistent that the rising use of these products by young people was enough to warrant their continued ban.

While nicotine alternatives remained banned, the minister has been praised for his efforts to decriminalise cannabis products, and rightly so. 

But the continued prohibition on nicotine alternatives such as vaping, however, is a dangerous path that removes opportunities for Thailand’s large population of smokers — currently estimated at nearly a quarter of the population, some 15.4 million people. 

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Kaji terperinci terlebih dulu Generasi Penamat tembakau

Pusat Pilihan Pengguna (CCC) telah menganjurkan satu forum secara dalam talian bertajuk Generasi Penamat: Langkah Tepat atau Menjerat, baru-baru ini.

Forum itu dianjurkan bagi mendapat pendangan dan membincangkan isu terkini berkaitan Akta Kawalan Tembakau dan Merokok yang bakal melarang individu yang lahir dari tahun 2007 untuk memiliki, membeli dan mengguna produk rokok termasuk rokok elektronik.

Menurut wakil Consumer Choice Center Malaysia, Tarmizi Anuwar, pelaksanaan Generasi Penamat Tembakau adalah satu tindakan yang terburu-buru dan seharusnya mengambil kira pelbagai sudut bagi memastikan ia adalah satu usaha yang akan berjaya dengan cemerlang.

“Pendapat pakar dalam bidang terutamanya saintifik dan kesihatan harus diambil kira. Oleh kerana itu, kamu menganjurkan sesi perkongsian ilmiah ini bagi membincangkan dan melihat isu ini dalam skop yang lebih luas,’ katanya.

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