KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 9 — The Health Ministry has not been deterred by criticism over its “drastic” raids on e-cigarette of “vaping” outlets, insisting that these may not sell vape liquids with nicotine as long as they are not approved to do so by the Pharmacy Board.
The ministry is being criticised over its sudden and ongoing crackdown on vapes, which Deputy Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Hilmi Yahaya admitted last week was a “drastic” measure given the current lack of guidelines for the industry.
“E-liquid containing nicotine is required to be registered under the Control of Drugs and Cosmetics Regulation 1954, Sale of Drugs Act 1952.
“It can only be supplied by licensed pharmacists and registered medical practitioners and has to be recorded. According to the Poisons Act 1952, the sale of nicotine by other parties is unlawful,” Health Director-General Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said in a statement.
Putrajaya has been sending mixed messages over vaping in recent weeks, with the Health Ministry conducting raids on such outlets even as Rural and Regional Development Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob encouraged their expansion.
Ismail had also announced the Cabinet decision not to ban vaping as suggested by the Health Ministry, which was followed by a statement from Health Minister Datuk Seri S. Subramaniam announcing action against vape outlets.
The Malaysian E-Vaporisers and Tobacco Alternative Association (Mevta) has urged vape outlets to continue operations despite the ongoing enforcement against the industry, insisting that vaping per se was not illegal.
During the weekend, small traders association Ikhlas warned the government that the crackdown on vaping outlets will result in a backlash by voters.