SERDANG: The Health Ministry has set up a special committee to formulate methods of control the use of electronic cigarettes (e-cig) or vape.
Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad said the cabinet in a meeting today had agreed to the committee to be chaired by his deputy, Dr Lee Boon Chye.
“I can not reveal more about this, but it involves the control over the use of this equipment,“ he said at a press conference after opening the Environmental Awareness Free Smoking Practices Convention in conjunction with the World No Tobacco Day 2019 at Universiti Putra Malaysia, today.
Present was Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) vice-chancellor Prof Datin Paduka Dr Aini Ideris and Malaysia Tobacco Control Council (MCTC) president Professor Datuk Dr Lekhraj Rampal.
The previous government had set up a committee to standardise the control measures against e-cigarettes.
The committee will also examine the contents of e-cig liquids in accordance with the provisions of the Poison Act 1952, to determine whether they have substances that affect health.
Dzulkefly in his speech said disease caused by cigarette smoke is among the main causes of Malaysians life expectancy being in horizontal for the last 12 years.
He said cigarette smoke was classified as a non-communicable disease (NCD) which clearly contributed to the high death toll in the country.
“The average life expectancy of Malaysians is 75 years, which is 73 for males and 75 for women and this study shows no change in the lives of our people over the last decade compared to neighbouring countries.
“We don’t want citizens to die before they even reach 75 years which is called the ‘premature period’ due to diseases caused by cigarette smoke.
“We can build as many hospitals and improve health care services but if we do not maintain good health practices, it will have no meaning,“ he said.
He added that efforts to prevent people from smoking in public places has showed positive progress as communities and premises had been working together on this.
“Until last May, out of 103,916 premises inspected only 24,784 premises did not have the no smoking sign,“ he said.