Unnecessary To Further Create Complexity For Suffering Businesses With Unproven Smoking Laws

If the Government can stop illegal cigarettes by cutting the supply of these products, this can really help to reduce the number of people smoking illegal products.

Unnecessary To Further Create Complexity For Suffering Businesses With Unproven Smoking Laws

KUALA LUMPUR, 7 JULY 2022 – The Government should focus on combating illegal cigarettes instead of introducing new tobacco policies such as banning sale of cigarettes and vape products for future generations, plain packaging and cigarette display ban will accelerate the growth of illegal cigarettes, said Kuantan Hotel and Restaurant Café Association today.

The Association’s comments came following recent news report on the Ministry of Health’s (MOH) proposal for cigarette products not to be displayed at sales premises, plain packaging on cigarette products and a ban on sale of cigarettes and vape for individuals born after 2005.

The President of the Kuantan Hotel and Restaurant Café Association Hung Pang Jum said, “While the Ministry has the right intention to reduce the number of people smoking or using vape products, the focus has been wrong. The Government need to address illegal cigarettes as there are many people smoking illegal products.”

“If the Government can stop illegal cigarettes by cutting the supply of these products, this can really help to reduce the number of people smoking illegal products.

“In addition, there has been no consideration given on the negative consequences that it will bring to the country’s economy and legitimate businesses like us.

“These proposals will definitely cause the illegal cigarettes market to grow further. Smokers are not going to stop smoking because of these policies. Instead, they will continue smoking illegal products and our source of income from legitimate products will continue to go down the drain,” he added.

Hung Pang Jum also pointed out that the cost of compliance with the cigarette display ban will fall onto business owners.

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“Our business has already suffered massively for the past two years. From Covid 19 to a severe shortage of manpower and the rising cost of ingredients to income crunch due to inflation.  The legitimate businesses have a lot of issues to deal with and we cannot afford to incur cost to comply with the new proposal.

Hung Pang Jum is also concerned about the complexity of enforcing the ban sale of the product to future adults. “We foresee major backlash from customers when we asked for ID checks as personal data is involved. This is like another MySejahtera nightmare as not everyone will willing to share their personal data.

“This will not work nor will it discourage customers from smoking. Instead, it creates a lot more complexity for businesses on the ground,”

The Kuantan Hotel and Restaurant Café Association suggested the Government should conduct more consultation with various parties on realistic proposals that would help to reduce the number of smokers in Malaysia, especially stopping illegal cigarettes in the market.