Vaping to be regulated, ban still possible, says Health Ministry

Concerns over vaping exist largely due to their initial positioning as electronic replacements for cigarettes, prompting fears that the former may be as harmful as conventional tobacco use. — Picture by Firdaus Latif
Concerns over vaping exist largely due to their initial positioning as electronic replacements for cigarettes, prompting fears that the former may be as harmful as conventional tobacco use. — Picture by Firdaus Latif

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 30 — The Cabinet has decided that electronic cigarettes or “vaping” will be regulated due to health concerns over their usage, Health Minister Datuk Seri S. Subramaniam said today.

His announcement comes after another federal minister confirmed today that the government will not seek to ban vaping in the country.

“The Cabinet fully recognises the health effects of both cigarette smoking and vaping. The Cabinet fully recognises the need for greater public health education into the harmful effects of vaping and the need for stringently regulating it.

“The Ministry of Health will immediately implement the above measures immediately,” Subramaniam said in a Facebook post.

But the health minister also revealed that plans to ban vaping have not been abandoned, and will be revisited depending on the success in educating consumers about the risks of vaping as well as the regulations that will be introduced.

He also did not elaborate on what regulating the industry will entail.

Earlier today, Rural and Regional Development Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob revealed that the Cabinet has decided not to pursue a ban on vaping that was mooted by the Health Ministry.

Concerns over vaping exist largely due to their initial positioning as electronic replacements for cigarettes, prompting fears that the former may be as harmful as conventional tobacco use.

While the health risks of smoking are well established, the dangers involved in using e-cigarettes have not been conclusively determined.

The more apparent risk comes from users jury-rigging their own vaporisers using diverse components and without proper research, as seen from incidents involving exploding e-cigarettes.

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