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.