Health minister: Govt mulls banning vaping devices, e-cigarettes completely

Dzulkefly said a special working committee has been formed under the Health Ministry to study the issue further, before a final decision is made. ― Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
Dzulkefly said a special working committee has been formed under the Health Ministry to study the issue further, before a final decision is made. ― Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 14 — The government is studying the possibility of banning the use of electronic cigarettes and vaping devices completely, following reports of fatalities in the US and the UK.

Health Minister Datuk Seri Dzukefly Ahmad said that a study on the matter is needed, and a special working committee has been formed under the ministry to study it further, before a final decision is made.

“Tan Sri Speaker, realising recent research which revealed the side effects of using electronic cigarettes and vape (devices), including death — like I said that had happened in the US and UK recently, an in-depth research is needed to relook the need to enforce a blanket ban on the sale of electronic cigarettes and vape (devices).

“Therefore, a specialist working committee under the Health Ministry, chaired by my deputy was formed to study this overall, and all the findings will be brought to me,” Dzulkefly said.

He was responding to a question by Pengkalan Chepa MP Ahmad Marzuk Shaary, who asked if the ministry intends to ban electronic cigarettes and vaping devices entirely, or to ban the selling of related substances, especially to school students.

Last year, Bernama reported Deputy Health Minister Dr Lee Boon Chye saying that the government has no plans to ban the sale of electronic cigarettes vap devices, but would instead increase control by way of law, to curb health risk that may arise from the use of the devices.

“The decision on whether the sale or use of e-cigarettes and vaping will be banned in the country depends on the results of an ongoing study, which includes taking into account current needs and situation, he reportedly told by Bernama.

Dr Lee’s comments came on the heels of a statement by the National Cancer Society of Malaysia (NCSM), which had called on the government to impose an immediate ban the sale of such devices, especially to youths.

Bernama reported that the call was made following reports of vape liquids being laced with drugs, coupled with the believe by many, that vape cartridges only contain nicotine which causes addiction, but without tar or carbon monoxide, which cause cancer.

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