Sabah issues fatwa against vaping, shisha

Sabah mufti Datuk Bungsu @ Aziz Jaafar said vaping, e-cigarettes and shisha are considered haram by the Sabah Fatwa Council because it is harmful to one's health. ― Picture by Julia Chan
Sabah mufti Datuk Bungsu @ Aziz Jaafar said vaping, e-cigarettes and shisha are considered haram by the Sabah Fatwa Council because it is harmful to one's health. ― Picture by Julia Chan

KOTA KINABALU, Jan 21 ― The Sabah Fatwa Council is the latest to declare vaping as haram for Muslims.

State Mufti Datuk Bungsu @ Aziz Jaafar said vaping, e-cigarettes and shisha were considered forbidden because of their negative effects on one's health.

“After hearing out opinions from health experts, we declare that shisha, e-cigarettes and vaping, along with all activities involving the business is illegal according to the Syariah,” he said.

He stressed, however, that the fatwa does not become law until gazetted as such by the State Islamic Department under the state government.

“Whether or not action will be taken or whether it is illegal is outside of our jurisdiction. We will submit our decree to the State Islamic Council for their consideration and it is up to them and the state government whether to gazette it as illegal,” said Bongsu at a press conference today.

Bongsu said that the council made the decision after a muzakarah (conference ) of some 10 people including local religious academics, Shariah law experts and a representative from the attorney-general's office came together.

Last year, the National Fatwa Council ruled that smoking electronic cigarettes or vaping is forbidden, after taking into consideration all aspects, including medical and scientific findings that e-cigarettes were wasteful and harmful to health.

Some states like Negri Sembilan and Pahang have banned Muslims from vaping, while other states have merely imposed a ban on the sale of vape products, like Kelantan, Kedah, Johor and Terengganu. Malacca has announced a total prohibition on vaping.

Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Minister Datuk Hamzah Zainuddin was recently reported as saying that the federal government will decide at the end of the month how to regulate vaping nationwide and what devices should be allowed to be used for electronic cigarettes.

The vaping movement in Sabah is growing and there is an estimated 50 traders in the state, not including small-time traders without permanent locations, and thousands of users.

 Vape traders here have called for the industry to be regulated fairly.

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