Malaysia's Deputy Health Minister: No ban on vaping anytime soon

KUALA LUMPUR - There are no plans to ban or regulate vaping at the moment, said Deputy Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Hilmi Yahaya.

He said that there was still a lot of consideration to be taken into account including holding meetings with stakeholders from the tobacco, vaping and shisha industries.

"At present, we have only laws governing tobacco but we are looking at news laws to cover vaping and shisha smoking," he said at Parliament lobby Thursday.

He said there would be insufficient time to table any proposed Bill during the current Parliament sitting or even when the next session convenes in March.

"According to tobacco laws, vendors cannot advertise, but they are still advertising the cigarettes behind the counters," Dr Hilmi said this in reference to the nicotine content in vape and the difficulty in regulating it.

Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam had told reporters in Parliament earlier that the Government's long-term intention was to prohibit vaping.

"We are now working out a few legal premises. We will choose the most appropriate Act that will give us the power to do it.

"If it was up to me, I will ban it as soon as possible. I feel we have to put a stop to this before it becomes a big issue," he had said.

Dr Hilmi also told the Dewan Rakyat that 70 per cent of smokers wanted to quit smoking by switching to e-cigarettes, but ended up doing both.

The Ministry is concerned over the growing trend of vaping among Malaysians, especially those below 18.