KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 7 — The Health Ministry is in the process of finalising the new Tobacco Control Bill, its minister Datuk Seri Dzulkefly Ahmad said today.
Dzulkefly said he is hopeful that the Bill will be completed and presented to the Attorney General’s Chambers (AGC).
“We are looking to finalise the Bill (tobacco control) by the end of this month so that we can present the Bill to the AG.
“By early next year, we hope to bring it to Parliament,” Dzulkefly told reporters after launching the 17th Urological Association of Asia Congress here at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre.
The introduction of the new Bill was mooted by the Health Ministry to control all tobacco-related products and e-cigarettes and to enforce the no-smoking zone ruling.
This Bill will also address tobacco-related issues, including the curbing of illicit tobacco products.
Yesterday, the Japan Tobacco International Berhad (JTI) questioned the government’s willpower to curb illicit cigarettes, saying unlicensed vape shops and the trade in illegal cigarettes were growing due to corruption and lack of law enforcement in regulating the use of nicotine.
“Under the Poisons Act, we can only take action against those whom we have found to be selling products containing nicotine but do not have licenses to do so.
“But we cannot enforce the law across the board as vape products are not listed under the Poisons Act. With the Tobacco Control Act, we will be able to address all these issues,” he added.
JTI also revealed that one in seven Malaysian smokers are currently imbibing illegal cigarettes and vaping products, adding that the numbers would rise exponentially if left unchecked.