Malaysia Opens Doors to Legal Vaping Market with Nicotine Exemption from Poisons Act
Malaysia’s health minister has announced that nicotine used in e-liquids will be exempt from the country’s Poisons Act. The decision is expected to lead to a large legal market for vaping with nicotine, as consumers can now purchase these products without a prescription.
The Malaysian Ministry of Finance had already included a tax on vaping products in its 2023 budget, which came into effect on 1 April. The tax includes an excise duty of 0.40 Malaysian ringgit (RM), or about 9 euro cents per millilitre on an e-liquid containing nicotine. Interestingly, the tax rate for nicotine-free e-liquids is the same.
The decision to remove nicotine from the official list of poisons was controversial, as it immediately followed a meeting of the Poisons Council, which would have recommended against allowing nicotine sales to consumers. Previously, nicotine was only sold on prescription for medical purposes. The Poison Board and tobacco control activists wanted to maintain the ban on nicotine-based consumer products, but the government decided to remove the ban, allowing for the sale of nicotine-containing vaping products.
However, there is still no law governing the regulation of vaping products, advertising, or the market. Currently, the Malaysian Tobacco Control Act does not include e-cigarettes, which means that the sale and use of vaping products are unregulated. Anti-vaping groups warn that this could lead to sales to children and could pose a public health crisis.
On the other hand, it’s worth noting that there’s already a large unregulated vaping market in Malaysia, and significant quantities of illegal vaping products containing nicotine are already being sold. The new laws will simply allow nicotine-containing vapers to move from the black market to vape shops, where they can be sold to adults without fear of the occasional police raid.
Despite the lack of regulation, many in the vaping community in Malaysia are welcoming the new laws. They believe that the decision will not only benefit adult smokers who want to quit smoking traditional cigarettes but also boost the country’s economy by creating jobs and generating tax revenue.
In conclusion, the new laws in Malaysia mark a significant change in the regulation of nicotine used in e-liquids. While there is still no law governing the regulation of vaping products, advertising, or the market, the move will enable adults to buy nicotine-containing vaping products legally. While there are concerns about the lack of regulation, the new laws are expected to have a positive impact on the vaping industry in Malaysia.
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