MMA: Sue gov’t for delisting nicotine gels from Poisons Act if your kids have poor health from e-ciggie

THE Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) has urged parents of children below 18 whose health had been affected by consuming e-cigarettes or vaping products to take legal action against the government for ignoring expert advice and for failing in its duties to adequately protect citizens, especially young children against the health hazrdss of vaping.

This comes about as the Health Ministry (MOH) has ignored expert advice which warned of the consequences of removing nicotine gels and liquids from the Poisons Act, according to MMA’s president Dr Azizan Abdul Aziz.

“As a result of its decision (to delist nicotine from the Poisons Act), e-cigarette and vaping products including those with nicotine, can be legally sold to children of any age,” she lamented in a media statement.

“In June this year, the Health DG (director-general) had stated that 17 cases related to e-cigarette or vaping use-associated lung injury (EVALI) were reported in that month alone.”

Moreover, data obtained through the National Health and Morbidity Survey (NHMS) 2022 showed an increase in the use of e-cigarettes among teenagers below 18 (aged 13 to 17) from 9.8% in 2017 to 14.9% in 2022.

“A significant increase also occurred among teenage girls from 2.8% in 2017 to 6.2% in 2022,” Dr Azizan who assumed the MMA presidency on Sept 8 from Dr Muruga Raj Rajathurai hit out.

Dr Azizan Abdul Aziz

“The MMA takes a serious view of the government’s delisting of nicotine gels and liquids from the Poisons Act 1952. We strongly oppose this move and urge the people of Malaysia to hold the government responsible for every case of EVALI (e-cigarette or vaping use-associated lung injury) among minors.”

Earlier, the MMA has demanded that the government immediately re-list nicotine gels and liquids as a controlled substance under the Poisons Act 1952 following its decision to decouple the Generational End Game (GEG) from the Control of Smoking Products for Public Health Bill 2023.

“Did they only decide that the GEG is ‘unconstitutional’ and should be separated from the bill as of last week? The government had months to extensively study all angles concerning the bill.” berated Dr Azizan who graduated from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) in 1986.

“This bill has been deliberated on from the time of the previous government to the current government. Before the tabling of such an important bill in parliament, any ministry would have consulted their legal team or even the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) for their views and advice.” – Nov 7, 2023

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