MMA urges debate on anti-smoking bill or reinstating nicotine control

The Malaysia Medical Association (MMA) has urged the government to either debate the Control of Smoking Products for Public Health Bill 2023 in the current parliamentary session or reinstate nicotine as a controlled substance under the Poisons Act 1952. MMA president Dr Muruga Raj Rajathurai expressed concerns over the government’s decision to refer the Bill to the Parliamentary Special Select Committee (PSSC) for Health, questioning whether the review could be completed in time for the current session.

In April, the government removed liquid nicotine, used in electronic cigarettes and vape products, from the list of controlled substances under the Poisons Act, allowing for the taxation of these liquids. Dr Muruga emphasised that without the anti-smoking Bill, vape products containing nicotine could be legally and openly sold to anyone, including children.

“It would be irresponsible of the government to disregard this issue and its serious impact on public health, in particular the health of our younger generation,” Dr Muruga said.

Last Tuesday, Health Minister Dr Zaliha Mustafa announced that the Bill would be tabled on June 12 for its first reading, after incorporating 23 proposed amendments and five new suggestions. However, following the first reading, the Bill was sent to the PSSC for Health for further fine-tuning.

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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