Malaysian Pharmacists Society urges swift passage of Tobacco Control Bill

The Malaysian Pharmacists Society (MPS) has urged the country’s Parliament to pass the Tobacco Product Control for Public Health Bill 2023 without delay, including the Generational End Game (GEG) provision. MPS President Prof Amrahi Buang emphasised the importance of controlling vape products and nicotine liquid, which were delisted from the Poisons Act on March 31. He stressed that any delay would exacerbate the public health crisis.

Prof Buang stated, “We expect every Member of Parliament to fulfil their duty to protect their citizens, who have entrusted them with their votes in the recent 15th General Election. By wholeheartedly supporting and endorsing the Tobacco Product Control for Public Health Bill 2023, parliamentarians will demonstrate their commitment to the well-being of the Malaysian people and the protection of public health.”

The call from MPS follows an incident involving a toddler who suffered from acute nicotine toxicity after suspected inhalation or ingestion of vape liquid on May 30. The two-year-old girl, with no history of chronic illness, was found coughing and vomiting beside an electronic cigarette. She was admitted to the intensive care unit and experienced two seizures but has since stabilised.

Prof Buang highlighted the need for legislation to address the rising issue of nicotine and drug abuse in vape products and to protect vulnerable individuals from addiction. He urged MPs to table, debate, and approve the Tobacco Product Control for Public Health Bill 2023, including the GEG provision, on June 12.

MPS is prepared to collaborate with all stakeholders to achieve the objective of safeguarding the health and well-being of Malaysians. Prof Buang said, “As healthcare professionals, we hold a sacred duty to advocate for patient and human safety. The oath we take compels us to prioritise the welfare of individuals and society as a whole, ensuring that no harm comes to those under our care.”

He added that this principle should not be silenced by powerful business lobbies. Earlier this week, the Health Ministry announced its intention to re-table the Control of Tobacco Product and Smoking Bill on June 12 for its first reading in Parliament. Health Minister Dr Zaliha Mustafa dismissed claims of uncertainty regarding the timeline for the Bill’s tabling.

World News

Lee Shuyi

Lee is an expat writer living in Thailand. She specialises in Southeast Asian news for the Thaiger. When she's not writing, Lee enjoys immersing herself in Thai culture and learning Thai.

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