KUALA LUMPUR – The government has no plans to ban the sale of electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) and vaping, instead will increase control to curb health risk that may arise from the use of the devices, said Deputy Health Minister Dr Lee Boon Chye.
He said the government has also taken proactive measures by drafting a bill that encompasses control over e-cigarettes and vaping, which will be tabled next year.
“The decision on whether the sale or use of e-cigarettes and vaping will be banned in the country depends on the results of an ongoing study, which includes taking into account current needs and situation,” he said when contacted by Bernama here today.
Dr Lee said this in commenting on the statement by the National Cancer Society of Malaysia (NCSM) yesterday, urging the government to immediately ban the sale of such devices, especially to the youth.
The call was made following reports of vape liquids being laced with drugs and many people believing that vape cartridges only contain nicotine that causes addiction but without tar or carbon monoxide that cause cancer.
Meanwhile, Malaysian Muslim Doctors Organisation (Perdim) central committee member Dr Zubaidi Ahmad said the content of nicotine in e-cigarettes or vaping devices was approximately two or three times more than the cigarettes.
“For example, in a cigarette, there is about two to three milligrams (mg) of nicotine, but in a vape, maybe the content is four to 12 mg nicotine. Excessive nicotine content is the one that affects the health of the users.
“What has become a concern is that vape is feared to have mixed with nicotine with dangerous chemicals that can lead to several health problems including an increase in blood pressure, heart attacks, strokes, stomach and intestinals ulcers,” he said.
Malaysian Council for Tobacco Control secretary-general Muhammad Sha’ani Abdullah suggested that the government immediately ban the sales of e-cigarettes or vape that contain nicotine.
“Individual who inhale vape smoke (with nicotine) are not only exposed to cancer but also to other harmful diseases that could affect health due to the contents of vape liquid that is unclear and no evidence of safe use,” he added.