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Malay Mail

PUTRAJAYA, July 31 — A total of two million lives can be saved and smoking-related diseases can be prevented in the period up till 2040 if the proposed Control of Tobacco Product and Smoking Act 2022 comes into force.

Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said the Control of Tobacco Product and Smoking Bill was 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 in a special interview with the media on the Control of Tobacco Product and Smoking Bill 2022, here.

Khairy is scheduled to table the bill for its second reading in the Dewan Rakyat this Monday (Aug 1) with the debate and winding-up session to take place the following day (Aug 2).

The minister expressed hope that the bill would be supported and passed.

The bill which was tabled for its first reading by Khairy last Wednesday, provides for, among others, the prohibition of smoking, buying or possessing tobacco products or smoking devices by the Generational End-Game (GEG) or individuals, born in 2007 onwards.

Khairy said the approval of the bill will also ensure that the sale of cigarette products, especially vape, can be regulated under a separate act as there is currently no legal mechanism to regulate such products.

“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 while urging industry players to support the bill.

Asked about the punishments provided in the Control of Tobacco Product and Smoking Bill 2022, he said there will be no criminal record for GEG offenders and they will only be fined, if convicted.

According to Section 17 of the proposed act, no person who was born on Jan 1, 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, it reads.

Apart from that, individuals born on Jan 1, 2007 onwards who purchase tobacco products, smoking substance and substitute tobacco products or smoking devices may face a fine not exceeding RM5,000, upon conviction.

Khairy said he was confident that the Ministry of Health (MOH) 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, born in 2007 onwards, there will be a drop in demand for cigarette products thus reducing cigarette smuggling activities in this country.

He added that the MOH will continue to cooperate with other ministries and relevant authorities to curb such activities, especially during the two-year transition period to GEG. — Bernama

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