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Malaysia's e-cigarette industry opposes equal regulation of e-cigarettes and cigarettes

Views: 0     Author: Site Editor     Publish Time: 2022-05-27      Origin: Site

On May 26, according to foreign reports, several associations representing about 3,000 domestic e-cigarette entrepreneurs, manufacturers, importers and retailers in Malaysia have responded to the recent announcement by the Ministry of Health (MoH) that e-cigarettes will be subject to similar regulations as cigarettes. After regulation, the move to equate e-cigarettes with cigarettes raised concerns.


The Malaysian Retail Vape Association (MRECA), the Malaysian Vaping Industry Advocacy Group (MVIA) and Dewan Perniagaan Vape Malaysia (DPVM) released a joint statement.


MRECA president Datuk Adzwan Ab Manas said the proposal has attracted great attention from players in the local e-cigarette industry, who have been struggling.


“The industry has repeatedly asked the government for regulations since 2015, but this has yet to happen. In Budget 2022, the government announced a high excise tax on vaping products, which would make them more expensive than cigarettes.”


"The latest proposal to regulate e-cigarettes is unreasonable. There is a lot of evidence that e-cigarettes are less harmful than cigarettes, so the rules for e-cigarettes and cigarettes cannot be the same," Azwan said in a statement today.


Rizani Zakaria, president of MVIA, said that it must be stated that e-cigarettes are not cigarettes, so the rules governing cigarettes cannot be applied to e-cigarettes.


“Local industry players have presented this evidence to the government. But the Ministry of Health insists and refuses to consider science and facts when setting vaping rules. The Ministry of Health should consider vaping products as a substitute for smokers, not a Cigarettes impose tough regulations or regulate them similar to cigarettes," Rizani said.


DPVM secretary Ridhwan Rosli said the Ministry of Health's Generation Endgame based on New Zealand's experience needed to be discussed further in the process of developing regulations for the vaping industry.


He said vaping products were regulated differently than cigarettes in New Zealand and were promoted as an alternative to help smokers quit.


He added that New Zealand's Generation Endgame proposal also did not cover e-cigarettes.


"However, the Ministry of Health's proposal to treat e-cigarettes and cigarettes equally is incorrect, considering that e-cigarette products can help reduce the number of smokers," Ridwan said.


Industry insiders have also been told that e-cigarette regulations will be strict or similar to cigarette regulations.


These include low-nicotine restrictions on e-cigarette liquids, a ban on online sales of e-cigarettes, a ban on the sale of open systems, and a ban on advertising and promotion of e-cigarettes, although e-cigarettes have been shown to be less harmful than cigarettes and can help smokers quit.


Regarding the ban on the sale of the open system, Adzwan said it was unfortunate as it would weaken the local vaping industry.


"Prohibiting the sale of open systems and allowing only closed systems to be sold on the market will have a significant impact on local industry players, who are mainly composed of e-cigarette liquid producers, while closed system products are imported."


"In addition to seeing local industrial producers close their stores while overseas producers will benefit, it will also have an impact on the supply chain of local palm oil producers, as e-cigarette e-liquids use vegetable glycerin produced by the local palm oil industry." Adzwan said.


If the purpose of banning the sale of an open system is to prevent the misuse of products for banned substances such as THC, as happened in the U.S. a few years ago, it is especially important for the Department of Health to bring it up, he said. Regulate the manufacture of vaping products and enforce them immediately to protect consumers.


This includes restricting the contents of e-juice bottles, ensuring that the packaging of e-juice bottles meets international standards with child locks, and ensuring that e-juices on the market are tested and the test certificate is printed on the label.


All of this is being done in places like the UK, Saudi Arabia, etc., to regulate vaping, rather than imposing bans without considering the impact of such measures, he said.


The vaping industry has urged the Health Ministry to review its proposed regulations, as it would send the wrong message to consumers and violate principles adopted by other countries including the UK, New Zealand and Canada.


These countries have specific regulations for vaping products and do not treat them like cigarettes.


This is aimed at getting smokers to switch to e-cigarettes because vaping products are less harmful than cigarettes and can help smokers quit.


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