Johor exco says won’t meet vape retailers after sultan’s decree
Despite the possibility of a blanket ban on the vaping industry in the state, the Johor government has no intention of engaging with vape retailers over the matter, said Johor Health and Environment exco Datuk Ayub Rahmat.
This follows the sultan of Johor’s decree for a ban on the sale of vaporisers and fluids in the state.
“There have been no discussions and there may be no discussions,” Ayub told The Malaysian Insider when contacted.
However, he said he would raise the Johor sultan’s decree with the state executive council meeting on Wednesday.
“Yes, I will bring the matter to the state government executive council,” said Ayub.
Malaysian Organisation of Vaping Entities (Move) president, Samsul Kamal Arifin Mohd Basir said he agreed with Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar’s statement that vaping should not be racialised, and that the trend affected the youth.
This was why Move was “aggressive” in encouraging ethical vaping among the youth, and was carrying out awareness campaigns, he said.
But Samsul said any law on the industry should also be implemented nationwide.
“From the beginning, Move’s stance was that the federal government needs to regulate the vaping industry in terms of manufacturing, sale and use,” said Samsul.
He said the group had been cooperating with the government for the past six months to institute regulations, rather than put out a ban on the industry.
However, he said that if the Sultan of Johor stood firm on the ban, the group may request more room for discussion.
“But right now, we respect his decision and accept it completely,” he said, adding that Johor vape retailers were now in the midst of holding meetings on the matter.
The Malaysian E-Vaporizers and Tobacco Alternative Association (Mevta) vice-president, Rizani Zakaria said they would try to help vape retailers from Johor set up shop outside the state.
“We continue to support the retailers there, but we cannot go against the Sultan’s decree. We cannot fight until the state government comes up with an official decision this Wednesday, so we await their decision.
“What Mevta can do to help its members is to continue their business legacy outside of Johor,” he said.
Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam said the government would consider banning the use of electronic cigarettes to prevent adverse health effects on consumers.
Deputy minister Datuk Seri Dr Hilmi Yahaya, however, reportedly said it was too early to decide on the ban, as the ministry was still looking into the legal aspects of enforcement to improve existing laws and enable the ban.