Include vape industry players in regulatory development, govt told

Malay Mail
Malay Mail

KUALA LUMPUR, April 6 — Local e-cigarettes and vape industry players have urged the Health Ministry (MoH) to include them in the process of developing rules and regulations after the recent tax policy introduced by the government.

In a statement today, Malaysian Vape Industry Advocacy (MVIA) said that this is important to address the details of the liquid nicotine that will be publicly available since it was excluded from the controlled substance under the Poisons Act 1952.

“Until now, we have not had any discussions or information regarding the regulatory details that will be introduced. The industry does not have clear details in the permitted nicotine levels, prohibited substances in vape liquids and gels, as well as product specifications authorised for sale and marketing.

“And this matter cannot be delayed any longer. Discussions should be held now so that decisions are not made hastily that will have an impact and impact on industry players.

“The industry is ready to discuss with the Ministry of Health to find a solution in this matter,” MVIA president Rizani Zakaria said.

Rizani also said that the government should not repeat the same mistake in tabling the Tobacco Control Bill where it has received brickbats from various relevant stakeholders.

“Thus, this time, the government needs to hold discussions with the industry and take into account the views of all parties to ensure that the regulations that will be introduced are suitable for implementation," he added.

Previously, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim today apologised for the delay in tabling the Tobacco Products and Smoking Control Bill in the Dewan Rakyat.

He said this was due to several MPs who have requested that some of the provisions in the Bill be studied again, which then warranted further discussions.

Last week, Putrajaya gazetted an excise duty for vape liquids with nicotine content at 40 sen per millilitre, in its bid to tax liquid or gel products containing nicotine for electronic cigarettes or vape devices.

During the tabling of Budget 2023 on February 24, Anwar, who is also the finance minister, announced that the government will impose an excise duty on liquid or gel products containing nicotine, with half the revenue to be allocated to the Health Ministry.

He said that the liquid or gel products with nicotine — estimated to be worth RM2 billion in potential government revenue — were widely used with electronic cigarettes and vaping, despite this being technically illegal.

The previous government announced plans under Budget 2022 to expand tax collection to vape liquids containing nicotine by imposing excise taxes at RM1.20 per millilitre, but the enforcement was postponed.

In order for the government to tax vape liquids with nicotine, the Health Ministry has also taken steps to exempt the aforementioned controlled substance from the Poisons Act, where two associations representing healthcare professionals in Malaysia voiced their opposition to the government’s move to exempt nicotine before the tabling of the Tobacco Control Bill.