First Malaysian vape seller charged under Poisons Act

Putrajaya has yet to decide if it will ban or regulate vaping, with the Health Ministry announcing last month that it has formed a special committee to study electronic cigarettes. ― File pic
Putrajaya has yet to decide if it will ban or regulate vaping, with the Health Ministry announcing last month that it has formed a special committee to study electronic cigarettes. ― File pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 16 ― Believed to be the first case against vaping, a vape seller in Kelantan has been charged with unlawful possession of nicotine though the government has yet to formulate laws concerning the industry.

Local daily Utusan Malaysia reported Muhd Azahar Safie, 27, pleaded not guilty to the charge at the Magistrate Court in Kota Baru yesterday with possessing 518ml of nicotine liquid without proper approvals at the Pasar Borong Wakaf Che Yeh at the Kelantan capital last November 5.

Muhd Azahar was charged under Section 9(1) of the Poisons Act 1952 that prohibits one from selling or possessing any poison unless in accordance with regulations made under the Act.

Nicotine is classified as a Group C Poison that, under the law, can only be sold as “dispensed medicine”.

If found guilty, Muhd Azahar faces a fine of not more than RM3,000, maximum one-year imprisonment or both.

The Health Ministry said on November 9 that vape liquids containing nicotine can only be supplied by licensed pharmacists and registered medical practitioners, citing the Poisons Act that prohibits the sale of nicotine by other parties.

Putrajaya has yet to decide if it will ban or regulate vaping, with the Health Ministry announcing last month that it has formed a special committee to study electronic cigarettes.

The Johor state government, however, has said it will prohibit the sale of vape products starting January 1 after the state ruler called for a ban on vape outlets.

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