Unemployment to Rise as Malaysian Vape Industry Undergoes E-Cigarette Ban
Asia, News

Unemployment to Rise as Malaysian Vape Industry Undergoes E-Cigarette Ban 

As per the reports by Malaysian Health Officials, the government will introduce strict laws on the sale and use of electronic cigarettes and vaporisers on October 1.

The Health Ministry said that Malaysia wants to create a single law that would combine e-cigarettes and vaporisers together with tobacco based products. The law would also prohibit promotions and advertising of the products, use by minors and usage in public areas. This ban will have a huge impact on the Malaysian vape industry.

In recent times, many countries including India have banned e-cigarettes as they are closely associated with the increasing number of deaths and are highly addictive.

As per the survey conducted in 2015 by the Health Ministry named “National Health and Morbidity Survey”, out of the total population of about 32 million, nearly 5 million Malaysians aged 15 and older are smokers. 

A similar ban was put on vaporiser liquids containing nicotine in November 2015. The Health Ministry of Malaysia announced that the final draft of the new law has been completed and submitted to the attorney-general for a final review.

As of now, there are no strict regulations governing the sale and use of e-cigarettes and all the tobacco products are regulated under the Food Act.

Even though proper rules and regulations are necessary to keep a check on nicotine consumption in Malaysian residents, such a ban is not the right way to go about it. An immediate ban would promote the sale of e-cigarettes in the Malaysian vape industry through illegal means.

Commenting on the same, Dr Ganabaskaran Nadason, President of Malaysian Medical Association, said,

“Already, Malaysian law enforcement agencies are facing a huge task of clamping down on illegal cigarettes. The last thing Malaysia needs to deal with is another illegal product boosting an already thriving black economy.”

Also, the sudden ban on e-cigarettes will leave thousands of workers unemployed in Vape factories. This will affect the unemployment rate of Malaysia overall, which is currently 3.3 percent after remaining stagnant for a long time. If the ban is legalised, the progress made so far in this field will go unacknowledged.

Syed Azaudin, the President of Malaysian Vape Chamber of Commerce (MVCC), speaking to “The New Straits Times” said, “A total ban on vaping will also impact the livelihoods of thousands working in the vaping industry, including local entrepreneurs, who have invested a significant amount of money and efforts to grow their business.”

Workers are only one part of the chain. The Malaysian vape industry has created jobs for importers, warehouse companies, manufacturers and distributors too. The ban proposed would mean a breaking point for the industry once and for all.

Highlighting the negative consequences of the ban, Syed said, “While we welcome the new laws to regulate the vaping industry, we view that the Government should consider examples of how other countries that allow sales of vape products in a regulated environment and use of e-liquid containing nicotine at a capped level.”

The real question is whether implicating a ban on e-cigarettes is the only solution to the problem!

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