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Health NGOs surprised by removal of GEG element in anti-smoking Bill

Publish date: Thu, 30 Nov 2023, 12:56 PM

PETALING JAYA: The many health non-governmental organisations (NGO) engaged by the Health Ministry all this time over Generational Endgame (GEG) were never informed of the removal of the GEG element in the anti-smoking Bill, says Ikram Health Malaysia.

In a statement on Thursday (Nov 30), Ikram Health Malaysia said that the removal of the GEG provision means that the tobacco firms could continue to lure young people into being nicotine addicts to keep their industry going.

"The national mission to lower the prevalence of smokers and vapers to less than 5% by 2040 has now been killed and buried.

"Ikram Health, however, supports the current Bill and hopes it will be passed this Parliament session to plug the hole made eight months ago in the laws due to the removal of nicotine gels and liquids as a controlled substance under the Poisons Act 1952.

"Even though the anti-smoking law is weak now, at least we would have laws to control all smoker products in the country," said Ikram Health Malaysia.

It also urged the parliamentarians to push for the GEG provision to be reinstated and amended into the laws in the next Parliament session.

Ikram Health Malaysia said that as the GEG was now not due to be incorporated into the laws, it was now a public duty to advocate for the GEG provision to create a non-smoking generation.

The GEG element in the Bill sought to ban those born in 2007 and onwards from smoking or purchasing smoking products.

On Nov 28, the GEG element was removed from the revised Control of Smoking Products for Public Health 2023 Bill tabled for the first reading in the Dewan Rakyat.

It was the Health Ministry's third attempt to legislate the anti-smoking law.

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