THE Malaysian government has announced the removal of the nicotine used in e-cigarette liquids from the Poisons Act 1952 list.Many feel that the previous ruling was unfair to certain business owners. Furthermore, others are fine with its removal due to the lack of enforcement of the rule. The government also announced that there will be a new law to regulate nicotine use. Health Minister Dr Zaliha Mustafa stated that the Health Ministry (MOH) arranged discussions with various stakeholders, such as Members of Parliament, non-governmental organisations, professional associations, and related groups, to deliberate on the policies in the new bill, which included the provisions specified in the Generational Endgame (GEG) bill.
However, a netizen tweeted his concerns regarding the removal of nicotine in the Poisonous Act. He alleged that this is due to the government wanting to collect tax on electronic cigarettes.
It has happened.
The govt has removed nicotine used in gel and liquid for e-cigarettes & vape from the restricted substances list under the Poisons Act 1952.
This was done against the unanimous opposition of the Poisons Board.
I am still trying to deal with the shock. pic.twitter.com/QBXQU6Ah2d
— Azrul Mohd Khalib (@azrulmohdkhalib) March 31, 2023
A neurobiologist shared his thoughts on Twitter with the username @ChaunceyGardner by saying:
FYI, nicotine is on the @WHO Essential Medicines List (nicotine patches). It’s LD-50 is comparable to caffeine.
Singling out nicotine (and not caffeine) as a “poison” is irrational. It is just the end-result of 40 years of anti-smoking messaging. pic.twitter.com/HItrIaQrXY
— Charles A. Gardner, PhD (@ChaunceyGardner) March 31, 2023
Another netizen @hfshzhr shared her thoughts on the situation, stating that the rule was not regulated anyways.
The fact it is under restricted list under Poisons Act all this time is crazy because surely it doesnt feel like that at all since the sales & use arent restricted. It seems like enforcement regulating it is so so poor. The usual Msian problem.
— latenightcat (@hfshzhr) April 1, 2023
Others who are for the removal of nicotine in e-cigarette liquids from the act state that it is a positive move forward for the government to collect tax from it.
User @Hibiscus_Trnfn added:
If it remains in the poison list, only registered pharmacists are able to sell them. It had been ages since it is being sold by the guys next doors despite different governments in place. At least this time they can collect sin tax out of 2 billion or whatever.
— Hibiscus Transformation 🌺🌺🌺 (@Hibiscus_Trnfn) March 31, 2023
Some are against the whole ordeal though. Claims that this movement will only end up costing more in the long run due to health-related concerns.
Twitter user @sederhana_guy said:
If the sales of nicotine is taxed but the govt is ‘sponsoring’ healthcare via subsidy, it’s a zero-sum game. Doesn’t make any sense since healthcare cost can be exponentially more.
Those who are treated with smoking-related illness should pay more. They don’t deserve subsidy.
— JKR: JASA kepada Raykat 🇲🇾 (@sederhana_guy) April 1, 2023
Moreover, some netizens also claimed that a new black market line of vape products will be introduced to the market. This is because vape prices may increase significantly after being taxed by the government.@Faddy18416435 tweeted: — April 2, 2023
It’s a non-issue as far as smokers are concern.
Tax vape highly
Price go up big time
Blackmarket vape will be available.
Govt will whine abt loss of tax revenue
Haven’t you guys learned anything from taxing cigarettes ❓❓❓
— Faddy (@Faddy18416435) April 1, 2023