CEO Morning Brief

Ex-health Minister Dzulkefly Urges MPs to Back Revised Tobacco Bill Despite Dismay Over GEG Removal

Publish date: Thu, 30 Nov 2023, 08:49 AM
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TheEdge CEO Morning Brief

KUALA LUMPUR (Nov 29): Expressing disappointment over the removal of the generational endgame (GEG) component in the revised tobacco bill, former health minister Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad has nevertheless called on both government and opposition lawmakers to support the bill.

Speaking in Dewan Rakyat on Wednesday, Dzulkefly (PH-Kuala Selangor) acknowledged the imperfections of the Control of Smoking Products for Public Health Bill 2023, but pointed out that the country has, for the first time, come up with a standalone legislation to regulate tobacco, smoking substances and substitute tobacco products including e-cigarettes.

"Unlike the Control of Tobacco Products Regulations 2004, which falls under the Food Act 1983, this bill is enacted to regulate cigarettes, tobacco, and vape products in terms of advertising, registration, packaging, sale, purchase, and usage, which is very important," he said during the debate session on the bill.

Thus, he said, MPs from both sides should approve the bill despite their disappointment at the removal of the GEG component.

"I understand the disappointment and frustration of MPs who wanted the GEG component to be included in the bill... but we have to postpone our desire to become a world and global leader in opposing Big Tobacco and the vape industry," added Dzulkefly.

The revised bill was tabled in the Dewan Rakyat by Health Minister Dr Zaliha Mustafa on Tuesday.

One of the notable revisions in the revised bill is the absence of the GEG component, which aimed to prohibit individuals born from 2007 onwards from smoking or purchasing smoking products.

This decision has led to MPs from both sides to criticise the government, questioning whether it had yielded to lobbyists from Big Tobacco and the vape industry.

Zaliha is expected to conclude the debate on the bill on Thursday and seek approval from members of the lower house to pass the bill.

For more Parliament stories, click here.

Source: TheEdge - 30 Nov 2023

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