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Malaysia passes anti-smoking bill aimed at protecting minors

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Malaysia’s lower house of parliament passed an anti-smoking bill aimed at protecting minors from nicotine-containing products including vaping devices on Thursday.

Tabled by Health Minister Zaliha Mustafa, the bill includes the provision prohibiting the sale and purchase of tobacco products, smoking materials or tobacco substitute products, and providing any services related to smoking to minors.

Zaliha explained that the proposed act would regulate three categories of tobacco products, firstly processed tobacco or any tobacco containing product designed for human consumption, secondly, any combination of substances used for smoking, including nicotine, propylene glycol, glycerol and triethylene glycol (found in e-cigarettes), and thirdly, substitute tobacco products that are capable of being smoked.

Zaliha said the provisions banning the advertising, promotion and sponsorship of tobacco products, which are already in force under existing laws, are now expanded to all products including e-cigarettes, tobacco products, smoking substances and substitute tobacco products.

The bill also requires all importers and manufacturers of tobacco products to register each product produced for the Malaysian market. “This is crucial as it allows for the recording of specifications and content of each product, in addition to facilitating enforcement on the ground, including identifying unregistered products,” she said.

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