KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian Pharmacists Society (MPS) called on the government to reject the proposal to exclude liquid or nicotine gel from poison control regulations under the Poisons Act 1952.
MPS President Amrahi Buang in a statement today said such a proposal would be detrimental to the health and safety of the Malaysian public and is not in the national interest.
“Excluding it from the Poisons Act 1952 would send the wrong message to the public, particularly young people, and could lead to an increase in the use of e-cigarettes and vaping.
“We urge the government to strengthen regulations around e-cigarettes and vaping including restrictions on marketing and advertising and to increase public education about the dangers of nicotine use,” he said.
He said this following an update that there will be a meeting soon by the Poisons Board to discuss the exemption of the control of nicotine under Poisons Act 1952 to allow it to be taxed by the government.
Citing a study by the Ministry of Health Malaysia, Amrahi said the prevalence of e-cigarette use among adults in Malaysia has increased from 0.3 percent in 2015 to 1.3 percent in 2019 and the majority of e-cigarette users in Malaysia are young adults between 18 and 24.
He said according to the World Health Organization (WHO), vaping has been linked to more than 40 deaths worldwide with over 2,000 cases of lung injury reported in the United States whereas in Malaysia, there have been several cases of lung injury and deaths related to the use of e-cigarettes and vaping.
“As pharmacists, we are committed to promoting public health and safety. Nicotine, whether in liquid or gel form, is a highly addictive substance that poses significant health risks.
“Studies have shown that nicotine use can lead to cardiovascular disease, lung disease, and cancer. Additionally, nicotine use during pregnancy can harm the developing fetus and lead to complications during childbirth,” he said.
The Poisons Act 1952 was established to protect the public from the dangers of hazardous substances, including nicotine, and to regulate their sale, supply, and use. -Bernama