ACATA: Regulate vape products under existing tobacco laws as interim solution

THE Advanced Centre for Addiction Treatment Advocacy (ACATA) has urged the Health Ministry (MoH) to take immediate actions to amend the existing Control of Tobacco Product Regulations to regulate vape products after liquid nicotine was exempted as a controlled substance.

Earlier today at the Prime Minister’s Question Time (PMQT) session, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim reiterated the government’s commitment to table a new bill to regulate the vape industry.

He added that it is important to take a more moderate approach versus implementing drastic actions such as prohibition.

“As nicotine is also a substance that is found in tobacco, the current tobacco laws should have the powers and can be amended to regulate nicotine vape products,” commented ACATA’s president Dr Arifin Fii.

“This is crucial as it will subject vape products to stringent controls immediately as an interim solution while waiting for the new bill to be tabled.”

In ACATA’s view, there are certain controls that are immediately needed.

“The laws need to be in place to stop sale of vape products to individuals under the age of 18. There is also a need to ensure ingredients in vape liquids are regulated and ensure free from harmful substance,” Dr Arifin pointed out.

“At the same time, the rules have to ensure that there is a limit to the amount of nicotine in e-liquid. All these are standard requirements in countries that are regulating vape products. Malaysia should emulate regulations from countries like the UK and New Zealand that have successfully integrated vaping as quit smoking tool in their tobacco control policy.”

Generation End Game (GEG)

Meanwhile, ACATA believes that the Generation End Game (GEG) policy is not the right approach especially when considering the potential of vape as a less harmful product and effective tool to help smokers quit smoking.

“There are substantial and credible evidence to support that vaping is significantly less harmful than smoking tobacco products. Evidence also show that vaping is effective in helping cigarette smokers to quit. Imposing GEG on vape products is going to be counter-productive as it sends the wrong message to current smokers,” noted Dr Arifin.

“We cannot take the approach that the previous Health Minister took as imposing GEG on vape products would mean current smokers would be misinformed and deprived of the opportunity to switch to less harmful product.”

Added Dr Arifin: “The principle of harm reduction is universal and more awareness and education on tobacco harm reduction is needed to enable smokers receive the correct, accurate and evidence-based information in order to reduce smoking rates in Malaysia.” – April 4, 2023

Main pic credit: FOTOGRIN / Shutterstock

Subscribe and get top news delivered to your Inbox everyday for FREE