GEORGE TOWN: The Consumers’ Association of Penang (CAP) has initiated a campaign to keep children nicotine-free.
CAP education officer N. V. Subbarow said Malaysians should join hands to protect children from nicotine and those who vape, because e-cigarette devices are not safe to use around minors.
He said the use of e-cigarettes was unsafe for children, teenagers and young adults, as most e-cigarettes contained nicotine.
“Nicotine is highly addictive and can harm the brain development of adolescents , which continues from the early to mid 20s.
“E-cigarettes can also contain other harmful substances besides nicotine. Children and teenagers can become addicted to the nicotine in vaping devices and e-cigarettes, as the flavor makes vaping more appealing to them.”
Subbarow added that flavors such as chewing gum, fruit and sweets could attract children.
“The main reason young people vape or use e-cigarettes is because they like the flavor.
“The majority of parents use e-cigarettes at home and in the car, and this trend is very worrying.
“Using nicotine during adolescence can harm parts of the brain that control attention, learning, mood and impulse control. It also increases the risk of future addiction to other drugs.
“As such, youth and children should avoid the use of all products containing nicotine, including e-cigarettes.”
Public health groups had raised concerns over Malaysian children falling into nicotine addiction, as even a one-year-old could theoretically purchase and consume nicotine-laced products after nicotine was recently removed from the Poisons List.
Malaysian Council for Tobacco Control chairman Dr M. Murallitharan said nicotine would not be governed under any Act, including the Food Act 1983, which means even children could have access to it at all times.
This, he said, raised concerns over who would be responsible in overseeing the sales and consumption of nicotine.
Source: New Straits Time