Don’t delay smoking law any more, say pharmacists

Malaysian Pharmacists Society president Amrahi Buang said regulations only need Cabinet approval, as the law has already been gazetted. (Facebook pic)

PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian Pharmacists Society has called for “no further delay” in enforcing a law that could help prevent nicotine addiction among youth, following the health minister’s announcement that it would be implemented this month.

The society’s president Amrahi Buang said the law was passed last November and gazetted in February but enforcement had stalled while awaiting health ministry action on drawing up regulations.

The regulations do not require further approval from the Dewan Rakyat but fall under the jurisdiction of the Cabinet, he said.

“With the health minister’s announcement that the law and regulations will come into effect in June 2024, we expect no further delays in this critical public health measure,” said Amrahi.

“The urgency to enforce the tobacco control law cannot be overstated,” he said. “The immediate implementation of these regulations is crucial to safeguard public health, particularly the well-being of our younger generation.”

Earlier today, health minister Dzulkefly Ahmad said the law would be enforced this year. Last month, Dzulkefly said the ministry was expected to enforce the Act in response to the surge in e-cigarette or vape users.

Until the act comes into force, nicotine vape products remain legal for sale to minors aged below 18 years.

Amrahi said there was a prevalence of e-cigarette use among children, with an estimated 37 million youths aged 13–15 years globally using tobacco.

The prolonged delay in implementing comprehensive tobacco control laws exacerbates the risk of nicotine addiction among young people, exposing them to significant health hazards, he said.


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