Retailers and Vape Industry Players Disappointed

Retailers and Vape Industry Players Disappointed

The Malaysian Vapers Alliance (MVA) and the Retail & Trade Brands Advocacy Malaysia (RTBA Malaysia) are both disappointed with the government's move to approve a ban on vaping, tobacco and other related products in the country.

RTBA Malaysia, a coalition of businesses, retailers and trademark holders working to protect the retail and supplier industries in the Asia-Pacific region from the impact of criminal conduct, has expressed its concern over the Cabinet’s approval of such a ban. It also regrets that the ban will be subject to voting at the Dewan Rakyat.

Malaysia is a progressive nation. Implementing a blanket ban and taking away the rights of a citizen is going to affect legitimate businesses and retailers, says RTBA Malaysia, which adds that it strongly opposes this ban as it is not a pragmatic solution to reduce smoking prevalence.

"A ban of this nature will only benefit criminal syndicates by fuelling the black market, be it for tobacco or vaping.

"Once they take over the market, the socio-economic cost will be unreasonably high," says Dato' Fazli Nordin Managing Director of RTBA Malaysia.

The current illegal cigarette market, at 58.4%, has already caused the government to lose RM5 billion in tax revenue.

A ban will see this figure skyrocket. The added ban on vape products will only create a brand-new revenue stream for criminal syndicates, further impacting Malaysia’s economy.

While the Health Ministry has assured that it will increase enforcement efforts, history has proven time and time again that these efforts have not been effective. It is naïve to think it will be different this time.

Khairil Azizi Khairuddin President of MVA says a ban on vape takes away the right to choose.

"Malaysian Vapers Alliance is disappointed by the Government’s move to approve a ban on vape in the country, together with tobacco and other products.

"It is wrong for the Government to categorise vape with traditional cigarettes, although there is enough scientific evidence to show that these products are completely different," he says.

Independent evidence globally proves that while vaping has risks, those risks are significantly less compared to smoking.

Vape has also successfully aided many smokers in smoking cessation. It is disappointing to see Government continuing to ignore the science and evidence.

With the ban, the Government is taking away the rights of vapers who have chosen to use products which are proven to be less harmful. And worse, forcing vapers to turn to unregulated products.

"This is wrong and MVA calls on the Government to review this decision again," he says.