October 07, 2015

Local NGOs have come up with some suggestions for how the Government can start regulating the vape industry in the country

The vaping community is still waiting with bated breath for the Health Ministry’s announcement on whether vaping will be banned, or if other methods of regulations will be implemented instead. The Malaysian Organization for Vape Entity (MOVE) petition now has over 48,000 supporters, all requesting that the vaping industry be regulated, instead of banning it completely.

There are a range of reasons as to why regulating the vape industry would be preferable to a blanket ban but thus far, there are no regulations specific to vaping anywhere in the world. Rather, it’s being judged as a tobacco-related product, which as MOVE president Ska Mohd Basir pointed out, shouldn’t be the case.

(Do let us know if you’ve heard of any vape-specific regulations. We would appreciate the update!)

During our meeting with Ska, we talked about how other countries are controlling the industry and most are either implementing blanket bans – where vaping is completely banned – or are making use of existing laws to implement backdoor bans.

“There is a spectrum as to how [regulations on vaping] can be implemented and we want it to fall under a consumer-driven type of regulation,” Ska said to VapeClubMY during our interview. He added that it shouldn’t fall under the Tobacco Control Rules and Regulation 2004 (under the Food Act) as the juices used for vaping do not even contain tobacco.

MOVE has presented a proposal for regulating the industry and Ska shared some information on the proposal with VapeClubMY. There are three main areas that he highlighted ie. nicotine distribution, vape juices and accessories (mods, tanks etc). Throughout, he stressed that the consumer should be prioritised.

#1: Regulating Nicotine Distribution
MOVE’s suggestion is that one body be appointed to distribute nicotine and that taxation be conducted at that level. “That way, nicotine can be regulated and brought in from trusted sources,” said Ska.

#2: Setting Standards for Brewing Juices
There has to be certain specifications for juices and licenses are only to be given to brewers who meet these specifications.

In Malaysia, there exists a range of brewers – from those who have full on production lines, to those who brew in small amounts at home. Also, bottles aren’t always labelled with complete information.

Currently, consumers cannot be sure if the juices that they are vaping are brewed in sanitary conditions or if the juices contain ingredients that they may be allergic to.

#3: Setting Standards for Accessories
When it comes to vaping, there is a wide range of mods, tanks, batteries, heating elements etc. These products should be submitted to a body for testing and approval before being distributed to consumers. MOVE’s suggestion is that these products be submitted to SIRIM for testing.

All these suggestions will definitely make vaping safer for consumers and we’re hoping that the Government chooses to regulate the industry, rather than banning it entirely.

In our next article, we will discuss more about the benefits of implementing regulations, instead of a blanket ban.

Stay tuned for more updates!

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