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    Malaysia to introduce ‘vape laws’ next month - but industry in the dark

    Ali Anderson
    Ali Anderson
    July 4, 2024
    3 min read
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    Malaysia is set to implement stricter regulations on vapes from August - but the industry is still in the dark over what they will be. 

    The country’s health minister Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad this week apologised for multiple delays in getting the ‘Control of Smoking Products for Public Health Act 2024 (ACT 852)’ enforced, but kept details of the rules under wraps.

    Ahmad said that three regulations are already endorsed, while two more regulations and an order are pending approval.

    “Finally...the regulations and order shall be enforced together with the Act 852 in August,” he said. “God willing, no more delays.”

    Deputy health minister Datuk Lukanisman Awang Sauni has previously indicated that the government plans to treat vapes like conventional tobacco cigarettes under the new law. 

    ‘Standard packaging and flavour bans’

    Lukanisman told parliament earlier this year that the Ministry of Health was considering mandatory plain packaging for conventional cigarettes as well as “standard packaging” on vape products. The government has also said it was looking to restrict vape flavours.

    However, Malaysian Vape Chamber of Commerce (MVCC) secretary general Ridhwan Rosli said the industry had not received any detailed information about the proposed regulations.

    "Earlier this year, the MoH held a consultation session with the industry but did not provide detailed information regarding the regulatory framework for the vaping industry,” he said. 

    Surprise to the vape industry

    “At that time, we were informed that discussions and research were still being conducted by the MoH. It was quite a surprise when we read the news report stating that regulations have been drafted and were now under evaluation by legal officials."

    Ridhwan said it is crucial for the industry to understand the regulatory details around product content, types of products allowed for sale, maximum volume and level of nicotine, and the guidelines for packaging and selling.

    The impact on businesses

    "All these details need to be discussed with the industry because they involve products that are being sold and available in the market,” he said. "If regulations are developed and they do not consider the impact on current operations, many entrepreneurs, small and medium enterprises and workers will be affected.”

    He said the vape industry currently has more than 3,000 local retailers and a workforce of over 30,000 from all walks of life. "If this industry is affected due to unreasonable regulations, then there is a possibility that many retailers will be affected and may have to shut down their business resulting in thousands of workers losing their jobs," he said.

    He added: "This matter should be taken seriously as the industry needs to be involved in a transparent discussion regarding the proposed regulations and policies considered by the MoH.

    “So far, we do not know the details of the proposed regulations and whether it will affect the current operations of the industry.”

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