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Much at stake with delay in tobacco control bill

LETTERS: There should be no slack in the government’s resolve to raise awareness among the young about the dangers of vaping and e-cigarette addiction.

Parents and educators should also be made aware of the dangers that the habit poses to the young.

E-cigarettes contain nicotine, which can alter brain development, particularly in adolescents, and lead to long-term addiction.

Although e-cigarettes do not produce tobacco smoke, they do emit aerosols containing harmful chemicals, including formaldehyde, acrolein and volatile organic compounds, leading to respiratory issues and lung damage.

Exposure to nicotine can harm parts of the brain, affecting memory and cognition. This will affect adolescents’ academic performance and adult life later on.

There are also counterfeit and poorly manufactured e-cigarette devices, and these can intensify the ill-effects on health.

The authorities must also be aware that healthcare costs will increase in later years.

So, on all counts, vaping and e-cigarettes result in a negative endgame.

So why the delay in debating and passing the Control of Smoking Product for Public Health Bill 2023, which includes the generational endgame (GEG), that was first introduced almost a year ago?

It has been reported that the government had exempted nicotine as a controlled substance under the Poisons Act as a measure to tax vape liquids.

Doesn’t the proposed GEG and this act contradict each other?

Won’t the money derived from this tax be used to handle the health hazards associated with smoking and vaping?

Civil society has been vocal in calling to expedite the passage of GEG, and rightly so.

Referring the bill to the parliamentary select committee only further delays the passage of the proposed legislation for a good cause.

With the bill delayed, there are no safeguards to prevent the sale of cigarettes and vape products to minors.


Kuala Lumpur

Source: New Straits Times

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