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Friday, December 9, 2022

Khairy: Banning tobacco and smoking products can save 2 million lives

NewsKhairy: Banning tobacco and smoking products can save 2 million lives

The proposed Control of Tobacco Product and Smoking Act 2022 can save 2 million lives as smoking-related diseases can be prevented in the period up till 2040, says Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin.

According to Bernama, Khairy said the Bill is essential to public health as there were not many laws in the country which can save that many lives.

“That’s why I’m appealing to all Members of Parliament to vote for the bill which can save lives of two million Malaysians and prevent premature deaths caused by smoking.”

“Apart from premature deaths, this bill will be able to greatly help reduce cases of smoking-related disease,” he said.

The Bill’s second reading in the Dewan Rakyat is set on Monday (1 August) with the debate and winding-up session to take place the following day (2 August).

The proposed Bill states that children born in 2007 and the subsequent years will be prohibited from smoking, buying or possessing any type of smoking product.

Khairy said that currently there is no legal mechanism to regulate smoking products such as vape and this allows for exploitation.

“Currently, cigarettes are regulated under the Food Act 1983 and nicotine, the Poisons Act 1952. There is no specific law to regulate tobacco products and the vaping industry,” he said.

Meanwhile, Khairy also assured that there will be no criminal record for offenders and they will only be fined if convicted.

“According to Section 17 of the proposed act, no person who was born on 1 Jan 2007 onwards shall smoke any tobacco product or substitute tobacco product; use any smoking device; or possess any tobacco product, smoking substance, substitute tobacco product or smoking device.”

“Any person who contravenes subsection (1) commits an offence and shall, on conviction, be liable to a fine not exceeding RM5,000,” the Bill reads.

Khairy said he was confident that the Ministry of Health (KKM) will be able to create a generation that is free from smoking, and combat the smuggling and sale of contraband cigarettes if the bill is approved.

He said when a smoke-free culture becomes a norm among individuals, there will be a drop in demand for cigarette products thus reducing cigarette smuggling activities in this country.

During the 2-year transition period, he said that the ministry will cooperate with other ministries and relevant authorities to curb such activities.

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