KUALA LUMPUR, May 6 — Instead of banning vape products wholesale, vape industry players are urging the government to implement long-delayed regulations for the industry.
The Malaysia Retail Electronic Cigarette Association (MRECA) president Datuk Adzwan Ab Manas, in a statement issued recently, said a taxation framework for vape liquids with nicotine was supposed to be implemented from January 1 this year but has been delayed four months because the Ministry of Health (MoH) still has not implemented regulations for the industry.
Ironically, this delay has not only left the industry in limbo but has resulted in the government listing more than RM750 million a year in tax revenue.
This breaks down to the government losing approximately RM62 million every month from the failure to collect taxes.
“Furthermore, the MoH’s proposal to ban the sale of vape along with cigarettes, although the two products are different, is akin to declaring war on the local vape industry especially for the 3,000 local entrepreneurs and 15,000 employees in the industry,” he added.
President of the Malaysian Vape Industry Advocacy (MIVA) Rizani Zakaria agrees with Adzwan.
He said the ban is unfair as vape and cigarettes are two very different products.
Rizani was reported saying international studies show vaping is less harmful and can be used to help cigarette smokers quit smoking.
A policy paper recently published by consumer advocacy group Consumer Choice Center (CCC) based in the United States looks at key facts that show vape is not the gateway to smoking.
Maria Chaplia, a research manager at CCC and author of the policy paper titled “Vaping and the Gateway Myth” said, “Vaping is often blamed for encouraging smoking among adults and teens.
“Such unjustified criticism of vaping prevents millions of smokers around the world from switching to a safer alternative. The gateway rhetoric does not do anyone any good, has no merit and should be abandoned.”