LETTER | The Consumers Association of Penang (CAP) urged the government to keep its promise by presenting in Parliament the Smoking Product Control Bill along with the Generational Endgame (GEG) provisions.
This bill with GEG provisions needs to be presented and approved immediately to overcome the issue of the lack of legal control over electronic cigarettes or vape products after the exemption of nicotine from the Poisons Act 1952 on April 1.
The absence of a clear and comprehensive law to regulate the advertising, promotion, packaging, sale and use of these products poses a serious risk to public health, especially teenagers and children.
The use of electronic cigarette or vape products with various attractive flavours and 'dirty' marketing tactics by industry players have attracted the younger generation to try them, which carries the risk of addiction and long-term effects on their health.
CAP would like to remind the government about the promise made by Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim on April 4 in the Dewan Rakyat session where he had promised to present the bill together with the GEG provisions at the Parliament session this May.
The Health Ministry has also stated many times its position to present the bill with GEG provisions through media statements issued by the minister and her deputy.
Therefore, CAP calls on the government to immediately implement the commitment by presenting the bill in Parliament to deal with this urgent issue.
The bill should not be made into a political issue. Smoking is a health issue that should be taken seriously by all MPs who are responsible for protecting society from the dangers of smoking products.
By passing the bill, MPs who represent the voice of the people can prove their firm commitment to protecting the well-being of Malaysians, especially the youth.
Therefore, we strongly urge the government to prioritise public health by fulfilling the promises made to the people and presenting the bill immediately so that it becomes law without delay.
MOHIDEEN ABDUL KADEER is CAP president.
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