English World

Malacca to allow vaping

MALACCA: The trading of vape devices and liquids are deemed legal in the state and licences will continue to be issued to entrepreneurs venturing into the industry.

The state government would go on giving out licences until the Federal Government initiates new laws to control vaping or imposes a total ban on vape products.

State Housing, Local Government and Environment committee chairman Datuk Ismail Othman said the decision to regard vape products and e-cigarettes as legal was made after a study which showed that the sales of such merchandise was not widespread in Malacca.

“There are also a number of young entrepreneurs who had ventured into the business and we do not want to demoralise them by imposing a ban.

“We will continue to provide them the opportunity to generate income but they should abide by any new laws, including a ban, if decided by the Federal Government,” he said yesterday.

Ismail said many young entrepreneurs had invested huge sums of money in products and posh vaping outlets.

“So we do not mind rendering them a helping hand until the laws are changed,” he said.

The Health Ministry had on Nov 9 announced that while there would be no ban on vaping, under existing laws, the sale of e-liquids containing nicotine could only be supplied by licensed pharmacists and registered medical practitioners and such sales also had to be recorded.

Director-General of Health Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah who made the announcement, said the sales of nicotine was prohibited by other agents as well, under the Poisons Act 1952 (Revised 1989).

The Government has since started raiding vape suppliers and seizing items containing nicotine in various parts of the country.

Ismail confirmed that the Malacca Historic City Council (MBMB) had issued the latest batch of 20 licences a few days ago, adding that those who were keen to apply for licences could still do so.

“But the licences are meant for the legitimate operation of outlets and the local councils will not be responsible for contents in the liquids and other products sold,” he said.

Ismail said monitoring and enforcement of the various types of liquids came under the scope of law enforcement agencies like the police and health department.

However, State Health, Sports Development and Anti-Drugs committee chairman Datuk Ab Rahaman Ab Karim, warned entrepreneurs against lacing vape liquids with prohibited substances.

He said random samples would be collected from these outlets, and those found trading in narcotic substances would face the consequences.

“The state is kind enough to legalise vape and e-cigarettes but those in the business should not take advantage and peddle illegal substances,” he said.

Earlier, Chief Minister Datuk Seri Idris Haron said an analysis was done on vaping in the state with the cooperation of consumers’ associations and the food and beverage industry guilds.

“It was found that there was no vaping craze in the state.

“There are not many vapers so it will not make much of a difference if we allow it,” he said.

Idris said he also asked youth groups to gather the sentiments of vapers and was told that the majority would not take it as a problem if the products were totally banned.

Asked whether vaping would be allowed in non-smoking zones in the Historic City, he said it depended on the volume of nicotine released.

“If users are issued a compound for vaping in non-smoking zones, they can contest it in court, provided they can prove that their devices were not emitting nicotine-laced vapours,” he said.

Malacca has gazetted 21 areas in the city and other towns as smoke-free zones since June 15, 2011.

– The Star

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