Malaysia’s smoking ban proposal aims to reduce cancer risk, but the Bill divides opinion


Under the Bill are clauses that prohibit the sale of cigarettes, tobacco and vape products to anyone born in the year 2007 and after.

Any individual found guilty of this can be fined not more than RM20,000 or jailed not more than one year or both for their first offence.

Individuals guilty of subsequent similar offences can be fined up to RM30,000 or given a jail term of not more than two years, or both.

A company guilty of the first offence, meanwhile, can be fined between RM20,000 and RM100,000 or jailed two years, while further similar offences can see them fined between RM50,000 and RM300,000 and jailed up to three years.

Originally, the ministry had planned to ban the sale of tobacco and related products for those born after 2005 but Mr Khairy announced that this would be changed to 2007 after hearing views during stakeholder engagements.

He said this would allow more time for community education, a robust implementation plan and ramped up enforcement.

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The proposed law also bans those born after 2007 from buying, possessing, or using tobacco and other related products, with those found guilty of doing so are liable to a fine of up to RM5,000.

Shopkeepers and retailers are also not allowed to display tobacco products, smoking devices as well as their substitutes.

The proposed law also prohibits advertisements of tobacco products or substances.

Other aspects in the law address matters such as the registration, import, production, distribution, packaging and the labeling of tobacco and related products.

Mr Khairy also said in his video that with the new law, the e-cigarette or vape industry can be regulated, something that was supported by industry players.

“We can make sure that the vape liquids being sold are controlled properly, lab-tested so you don’t get sick,” he said, adding that the authorities are expecting to collect around RM500 million of taxes on vape.

Dr Helmy Haja Mydin, who is the technical advisor for the ministry’s initiative, told CNA that the Bill aims to reduce the prevalence of smoking to below 5 per cent by 2040.

This is outlined by Malaysia’s obligation to the articles under the World Health Organization (WHO) Framework on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC), which the country ratified in 2005.

Artmotion Asia

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