Wee Ka Siong urges comprehensive evaluation of Smoking Control Bill 2023 for effective regulation

MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong emphasised the need for additional study to ensure the efficacy of the Control of Smoking Products for Public Health Bill 2023. Wee specifically highlighted the importance of effective taxation and potential bans on harmful products.

In a Facebook video released today, the Ayer Hitam MP expressed the necessity of differentiating between various tobacco products, including cigars, shisha, cigarettes and vape devices, emphasising that each requires distinct regulatory measures.

“They are all different and cannot be regulated in the same way. A suitable mechanism has to be set in place. The Bill must list how much nicotine can actually be put into the liquids. Nicotine tests for vapes are also different when compared to those for cigarettes,” he added.

Moreover, Wee also questioned whether health warnings and graphic images, commonly seen on cigarette packaging should also be mandatory on vape packaging. He raised concerns about potential varying levels of harm between cigarettes and vape products, urging clarity on health warnings.

“Is this compulsory … for vape products? What if there are different health warnings for cigarettes and vape products? Does this mean each has varying levels of harm?

“What are the international standards and which should we follow? What is considered ‘optimum’ so vape users don’t overdose on nicotine? We should also look at how other countries limit vape flavours so it does not attract youths to try them,” he said.

Furthermore, Wee brought attention to the issue of the minimum price of tobacco products and whether sales would be restricted, citing the example of cigarettes where a minimum price is imposed to deter accessibility by youths.

He also stressed the importance of measures to prevent the sale of vape products near schools.

Commending Health Minister Dr Zaliha Mustafa for her efforts in tabling and passing the Bill, Wee acknowledged her contribution to establishing a legal platform for regulating tobacco products.

“Not many gave her credit, but she was at least successful in doing something to regulate tobacco products. At least now, we have a legal platform to regulate it.” – Dec 8, 2023

 

Main photo credit: Malay Mail

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