KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 23 — The Ministry of Health (MoH) is expected to table the draft of a new act to regulate the use of tobacco and electronic cigarette products in the first session of the Dewan Rakyat sitting next year.

In a written answer posted on the Parliament website today, the MoH said that the application to table the draft was made through the Legal Affairs Division of the Prime Minister’s Department.

“This updated draft will encompass control over all conventional smoking products, namely cigarettes and other tobacco products which are currently under the Control of Tobacco Product Regulations 2004 of the Food Act 1983.

“The new act will enable more comprehensive control to be implemented, especially on new emerging smoking products that (not only) attract more young smokers which also can pose health threats to Malaysians,” according to the MoH.

The ministry was responding to a question from Datuk Dr Shahruddin Md Salleh (Pejuang-Sri Gading) on the development of the new act involving the use of tobacco, vape, electronic cigarettes and shisha which should have been tabled last year.

According to the MoH, the draft of the new act was prepared based on a Cabinet decision made in 2016.

“It was then sent to the Attorney-General’s Chambers in August 2019 for drafting but was returned to the MoH following several changes in the country’s leadership since 2018,” it said.

However, the MoH informed that the Cabinet’s latest decision on the regulation of electronic cigarettes based on a memorandum paper raised by the Ministry of Finance on July 14, 2021, had been obtained.

As such, the MoH has decided to review and make improvements to the draft of the bill to regulate cigarette products so that strict regulation on the matter can be implemented. — Bernama