Burnin’ up: More than 600,000 oppose Malaysia’s smoking ban bill in online petition

Vape industry players have renewed their call for the government to reconsider its Control of Tobacco Product and Smoking Bill 2022, also known as the ‘Generational Endgame’ bill, after more than 600,000 people signed an online petition opposing it.

The Malaysian Vape Chamber of Commerce (MVCC) and the Malaysian Vape Industry Advocacy (MVIA) said since the petition got half a million signatures, they hoped the government will take their voices into consideration.

The online petition was launched by Malaysia Bersuara in July. The petition claims that the government is downplaying the issue of rising costs of living by coming up with legislation like the GEG.

The Malaysian Vape Chamber of Commerce president Rizani Zakaria said their requests for a meeting with the parliamentary select committee (PSC) tasked with drafting the bill, had been ignored.

“Our submissions to health minister Khairy Jamaluddin and the PSC members have also fallen on deaf ears despite our many appeals,” he said.

“The health ministry and PSC cannot only listen to anti-vape individuals and groups. The GEG bill impacts many layers of Malaysian society, and therefore, it should be studied and discussed with all parties before a decision is made.”

Meanwhile, the Malaysian Vape Industry Advocacy Ridhwan Rosli said many of its industry players have voiced their concerns on the impact of the bill, which they claim will affect them significantly since the policy was tabled in July.

“Beyond affecting Bumiputera entrepreneurs, the GEG bill sets a wrong and negative stance on vape, which has been widely used as a tool for smoking cessation,” he said.

The GEG law aims to prohibit people born after 2007 from using, owning, or selling cigarettes or vaping devices.

While stating last week that the PSC was still reviewing the law, Khairy expressed optimism that it will be introduced in Dewan Rakyat the following month.

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