Vape industry wants government to differentiate vape and tobacco regulations
KUALA LUMPUR, July 13 — Ahead of the Ministry of Health’s (MoH) plan to introduce a new policy which will affect the vape industry in Malaysia, four industry associations submitted a memorandum yesterday to urge the government to consider its future when developing regulations.
The associations represent more than 3,000 entrepreneurs and businesses, as well as 15,000 employees from the manufacturing, distribution and retail sectors in the vape industry, namely the Malaysia Retail Electronic Cigarette Association (MRECA), Malaysian Vape Chamber of Commerce (MVCC), Malay Vape Traders Association (PPVM) and the Malaysian E-Vaporizers and Tobacco Alternative Association (MEVTA).
MoH plans to introduce a new policy which will be tabled in the Parliament session in July 2022.
The memorandum includes views and concerns about MoH’s plan to “introduce a new policy which will be tabled in the Parliament session in July 2022”.
In a press statement, Datuk Adzwan Ab Manas, President of Malaysia Retail Electronic Cigarette Association, said MoH held few engagement sessions with the industry on vape regulations in recent months but the views of the industry have not been given due consideration.
“As an association that represents the voice of local vape industry manufacturers, we believe our views are very important when developing regulations for this industry, as it involves the future of local players.”
As before, he reiterated that traditional cigarettes and vape are two completely different products.
Cigarettes are made from tobacco leaves, burnt and emit smoke that are toxic and clearly harmful.
“Vape however is a product that heats e-liquids to produce vapor consisting of Vegetable Glycerin (VG), Propylene Glycol (PG), flavours and nicotine.
“Vape users and the public should be exposed to the correct information, that the harms from traditional cigarettes and vape are completely different. Therefore, regulations should also be different,” he said.
Mohamad Neezam Talib, President of the Malaysia E-Vaporizers and Tobacco Alternative Association, added that the proposal to equate traditional cigarettes and vape, which will see the MoH implement a ban on the sale and use of vape for anyone born after 2005, will negatively impact local vape entrepreneurs and the entire vape ecosystem.
“This proposal will have a significant impact on local entrepreneurs and will slow down the vape industry in Malaysia.
“Any regulations introduced must take into account the future of the local vape industry as well as the potential of the industry in taking over the tobacco industry as more and more smokers are switching to vape in an effort to quit.”
At the same time, Sabri Ismail, President of the Malay Vape Traders Association, urged the government to coordinate the implementation of vape regulations among the relevant ministries.
“For example, last year the Ministry of Finance announced a taxation framework for vape e-liquids to take effect this year, while the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs introduced a law to implement Sirim certification for vape devices to be enforced this year.
“Following this, the MoH will introduce regulations for vape products and the industry. All planning, legislations and regulations related to vape should be coordinated among the various departments and Ministries.
“It should not be contradictory and different, as it will cause confusion.”
Ridhwan Rosli, Secretary General of the Malaysian Vape Chamber of Commerce, said the government also needs to outline a policy for investments in the industry.
“The government needs to streamline the import and export policy of vape products because currently, there is no policy on this matter.
“By strengthening the guidelines for trade policy, we will be able to attract domestic investments and foreign direct investments, which will lead to positive industry growth.”