THE Health Ministry’s (MOH) move to raid and seize from the vape industry in the past few days have affected many vape businesses in the Klang Valley and impacted small- and medium-sized entrepreneurs which resulted in losses amounting to millions of ringgit, said the Malaysian Vape Chamber of Commerce (MVCC).
According to MVCC secretary-general Ridhwan Rosli, the raids and seizures come across as a move to put pressure on the industry as the industry did not agree with MOH’s proposal to equate vape with cigarettes as well as the proposed generational endgame (GEG) policy.
The Tobacco and Smoking Control Bill stipulates that anyone born from Jan 1, 2007 is prohibited from purchasing any tobacco products, smoking substance, substitute tobacco product or smoking device.
“The industry supports the Government in developing regulations for the vape industry and we welcome the move to review and refine the Bill by PSSC,” said Ridhwan.
“Regulations is something that the industry has been looking forward to for years and it just needs to be refined, especially in relations to certain items that are important for the future of the vape industry.
He added that the raids and seizures carried out in the last few days ago had confused the industry and seems to have put pressure on the industry as the industry did not agree with MOH on both counts.
“We urge that the MoH stop the raids and seizures at this time, while waiting for the Bill to be refined before being tabled again in Parliament.”
Meanwhile, Malaysian Vape Industry Advocacy (MVIA) president Rizani Zakaria said the series of raids carried out by the authorities had confused the industry as it was not in line with what the Government had previously announced, thus resulting in many suffering losses.
“MOH had expressed its intention to enact a new law to control the use of vaping. The Bill is currently delayed because it needs to be refined and discussed again as announced by the Health Minister,” he elaborated.
“So, do not raid and seize from the vape industry to the point that vape entrepreneurs become victims and have to bear the loss.”
Rizani said a raid on an industry that is willing to be regulated will only affect the industry and as such MOH should issue regulatory guidelines while waiting for the Bill to be re-introduced.
“This will allow the industry to adhere to the guidelines on regulations while allowing the industry to be prepared when the legislative process is implemented.” – Aug 19, 2022