KUALA LUMPUR, May 6 — The Malaysia E-Vaporizers and Tobacco Alternative Association (MEVTA) has described the recent raids by the authorities as yet another blow to an industry already hard hit by the pandemic.

“Vape businesses are already affected due to the pandemic, and we know that the country’s economy is also unstable. Raids like these, which seize various vape products, further impacts business,” said Syamil Hanafiah, deputy secretary-general of MEVTA, in a statement today.

“Therefore, we urge the government to quickly introduce a set of regulations for the vape industry. With regulations in place, vape entrepreneurs who are primarily Bumiputera, will be able to grow and generate income.”

He said vape industry players welcome any effort by the government to regulate the industry and added “we are more than happy to participate in discussions and share ideas to develop a set of regulations for the vape industry.”

The vape industry in Malaysia is worth over RM2 billion and industry players have long said they generate income for the country as they “create employment opportunities and attract domestic and foreign direct investments.”

“With regulations in place, industry players will be able to conduct their business operations legally, without concerns,” added Syamil.

Commenting on a recent incident of a couple giving their child, believed to be two years old, a vape product to use, Syamil said that such actions were irresponsible and result in a negative perception of vape use.

He added that consumers must be responsible with their usage of vape and ensure the product is not misused by children.

“At the same time, this incident further shows the need for regulations to ensure it does not reoccur,” said Syamil.

“Countries such as the UK and New Zealand have implemented progressive regulations to regulate the vape industry, which includes the prohibition of the use of vape by children and those under the age of 18.

“But in Malaysia, industry players are still waiting for a legal framework to be drafted, while facing issues like these which only create a negative perception of vape.

“This is despite the fact that vape can be effectively used to help smokers quit smoking as it is a less harmful alternative.”