LETTER | The Malaysian Pharmacists Society (MPS) stands united in urging the honourable members of parliament to pass the Tobacco Product Control for Public Health Bill 2023.
It should also include the crucial Generational End Game (GEG) provision and enact stringent regulations to combat the alarming rise of nicotine and drug abuse in vape products.
The recent incident of a toddler suffering from acute nicotine toxicity, suspected of inhaling or swallowing vape liquid, is a stark reminder of the urgent need for decisive action to protect the public's health and well-being.
As healthcare professionals, we hold a sacred duty to advocate for patient and human safety.
The oath we take compels us to prioritise the welfare of individuals and society as a whole, ensuring that no harm comes to those under our care.
This principle must never be conveniently silenced, especially in the face of powerful business lobbies.
The current situation demands our unwavering commitment to do what is right, despite obstacles.
We firmly believe that the Tobacco Product Control for Public Health Bill 2023, including incorporating the GEG provision, is paramount to safeguarding the health of our fellow Malaysians.
This legislation will empower us to address the burgeoning menace of nicotine and drug abuse in vape products, protecting vulnerable individuals from falling prey to addiction and its devastating consequences.
The Malaysian Pharmacists Society strongly urges MPs to table, debate, and pass the Tobacco Product Control for Public Health Bill 2023, including the GEG provision, on June 12.
Delaying the passage of this bill would have severe implications for the current situation, where there is no control over vape products in the population and no control of nicotine liquid and gel since March 31, after delisting from the Poisons Act.
Each day of delay prolongs the exposure of individuals to the risks associated with vape products, exacerbating the public health crisis.
We expect every MP to fulfil their duty to protect their citizens, who have entrusted them with their votes in the recent 15th General Election.
By wholeheartedly supporting and endorsing the Tobacco Product Control for Public Health Bill 2023, MPs will demonstrate their commitment to the well-being of the Malaysian people and the protection of public health.
In the words of Mahatma Gandhi, "The true measure of any society can be found in how it treats its most vulnerable members."
As healthcare professionals, we are dedicated to upholding this noble standard and ensuring the welfare and safety of every Malaysian.
We call upon parliamentarians to emulate this spirit and champion the passage of the Tobacco Product Control for Public Health Bill 2023 and the crucial GEG provision as an essential step towards a healthier, safer, and more prosperous Malaysia.
Together, let us strive to protect the future of our nation and build a society where the health and well-being of our people are paramount.
The time to act is now, and the Malaysian Pharmacists Society stands ready to support and collaborate with all stakeholders to achieve this vital objective.
Author is the president of the Malaysian Pharmacists Society.
The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.