KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 7 — The Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) has encouraged parents of children below 18-years-old harmed by e-cigarettes or vaping to consider taking legal action against the government.

In a statement last night, MMA president Dr Azizan Abdul Aziz said the government’s failure to adequately protect the health of its citizens, especially the youth, from the health dangers of vaping has led to this call for legal action.

“We urge parents of children below 18 whose health had been affected as a result of consuming e-cigarettes or vaping products, to consider taking legal action against the government for ignoring expert advice and for failing in its duties to adequately protect citizens, especially young children against the health dangers of vaping,” Dr Azizan said.

She said that the association demands that the government immediately re-list nicotine gels and liquids as a controlled substance under the Poisons Act 1952 following its decision to decouple the Generational End Game (GEG) from the Control of Smoking Products for Public Health Bill 2023.


She said the Health Ministry should demonstrate leadership by facilitating the swift passage of the Bill for the stringent regulation of the smoking and vaping industry.

Instead, Dr Azizan said there have been continuous delays and impediments, largely instigated by the government itself.

She said that such a crucial bill had undergone extensive review during the transition of governments, yet the government now cites constitutional concerns.


“Did they only decide that the GEG is ‘unconstitutional’ and should be separated from the Bill as of last week? The government had months to extensively study all angles concerning the Bill.

“This Bill has been deliberated on from the time of the previous government to the current government. Any ministry, before the tabling of such an important bill in Parliament, would have consulted their legal team or even the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) for their views and advice,” she said.

Dr Azizan said the government’s recent claim of the GEG being "unconstitutional", just as the Bill’s second reading was set for October 10th, raises suspicions of another delaying tactic, leaving one to question the government’s true priorities.

She said thus far, the government’s actions have primarily only benefited the vape industry.

She added that due to the government’s decision to remove nicotine from the Poisons Act, e-cigarette and vaping products, even those containing nicotine, can now be legally sold to children of any age.

She said in June this year, Health Director-General Datuk Dr Muhammad Radzi Abu Hassan had stated that 17 cases related to e-cigarette or vaping use-associated lung injury (EVALI) were reported in that month alone.

The Star reported today that teenagers can easily buy vapes and e-cigarettes online, causing worry for parents and teachers.

The English daily discovered that these products are sold on popular e-commerce websites and individual vape sellers’ sites which cost less than RM40 on average.

According to the report, there are no age restrictions and buyers are not asked if they are 18 or older.

Anti-smoking activist NV Subbarow with the Consumers Association of Penang (CAP) claimed to have received complaints from teachers who have found and confiscated vaping devices from their students.

“Things are now getting out of control. Students keep their vapes inside their bags. Many have admitted that they bought them online,” the CAP senior education officer was quoted as saying.

The GEG Bill which was initially scheduled for the second reading in Parliament on October 10 was postponed at the last minute to accommodate Budget 2024 and other parliamentary matters.

The Health Ministry now has a three-day window from November 28 to November 30 to table and pass the Bill and if it fails, the next opportunity to introduce and pass the law will be when the Dewan Rakyat convenes in 2024.

* A previous version of this story contained errors which have since been corrected and Malay Mail apologises for the oversight.