Review ‘GEG’ Once Again

A lot needs to be reviewed. Smoking is not the same as vaping, but in the bill, vaping is equated to smoking in its interpretation, says Datuk Adzwan

Review ‘GEG’ Once Again

Kuala Lumpur, 28 July 2022: Malaysia Retail Electronic Cigarette Association (MRECA) today said that the Government needs to review GEG which is part of the Tobacco and Smoking Control Bill, which was been presented for the first reading in the Parliament session. The Bill will ban anyone born after 1 January 2007 from vaping.

Datuk Adzwan Ab Manas, President of MRECA said, "This policy needs to be reviewed. The bill not only prohibits sales to anyone born after 1 January 2007, but anyone born after that date cannot work in any store or company that sells or distributes vape products. This is something that will burden industry players later when finding employees.”

Datuk Adzwan also said the bill also equates cigarettes and vaping although the two products are different.

"A lot needs to be reviewed. Smoking is not the same as vape, but in the bill, vape is equated to smoking in its interpretation.

"This gives a very wrong message to vaper users and the public. In fact, the contents of vape products should not be interpreted as smoking substances because vape products or their contents are not directly related to cigarettes," he says.

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Salem says the Ministry should pursue a science based regulatory framework, informed by the positions of countries, such as New Zealand and the United Kingdom, where vaping is acknowledged as significantly less harmful and a viable alternative to reduce smoking prevalence.

"The government should take steps to differentiate between vaping and cigarettes in this bill. This is something that was also discussed at the engagement session with the Minister of Health recently," added Datuk Adzwan.

"In countries such as New Zealand and the UK, the regulations and interpretations for vape are different from cigarettes. This is because the country took steps to reduce the harm of smoking by making vape a smoking cessation tool. In fact, the country advises smokers to stop smoking through vaping," adds Datuk Adzwan.

MRECA urges the Government and Members of Parliament to review this bill as it will have a major impact on all players in the industry.