The South Asian Country Cites US Health Concerns As Reason For The Consideration
The current misinformation and hysteria surrounding vaping in the United States have begun to spread across the world. Following regulatory crackdown in China and complete prohibition in India, another Asian country is looking to crackdown on vaping as well.
The government of Malaysia is considering banning the sale of all vapor products in the country, citing reports of various illnesses in the United States. If passed, Malaysia would join India, Brazil, Singapore, and other nations in the countrywide prohibition of vaping.
Malaysia’s health minister has stated more research is needed before proposing any legislation, establishing a committee to investigate further. Critics of the announcement noted that Malaysia and other countries had not experienced the same illnesses that the United States has, and that the government should be focused on banning deadly tobacco products rather than target vapor products.
Malaysia’s announcement comes during the height of misinformed hysteria in the United States following reports of lung illnesses caused by the use of illicit marijuana cartridges that have been repeatedly misattributed to “vaping” by media. Malaysia’s health minister taking a more science-based approach, advocating for additional research before imposing regulation, is a refreshing change of pace in the current hostile climate against vaping.
Research Is Needed
The Health Ministry of Malaysia is currently weighing the possibility of banning the sale of all vapor products in the country. This comes just a month after India altogether banned vaping under an emergency order, and China imposed additional strict regulatory controls on vaping devices.
In response to an inquiry in parliament, Health Minister Datuk Ahmad cited growing reports of illnesses in the United States that have been misattributed to vaping as a reason for the consideration. In addition, the Health Minister stated that more research is needed before legislation is proposed and that a special committee has been formed within the ministry to study the matter further.
This contrasts with the ministries position last year when the Deputy Health Minister stated the government had no plans to ban electronic cigarettes or vaping devices. In addition to the hysteria in the United States fueling their need to reconsider, the National Cancer Society of Malaysia had recently called on the government to impose an immediate ban on the sale of all vapor products and devices.
Although the future of vaping in Malaysia looks uncertain for the time being, it is important to recognize when lawmakers independently conduct fact-based research based on their own country’s situation and needs. This greatly contrasts India’s reactionary hysteria-based ban as well as the most recent vaping regulations in the United States.
Facts About Vaping
Tobacco smoking is a deadly global epidemic, currently impacting over 1 billion people worldwide. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) currently estimates that there are nearly 38 million smokers in the United States alone, 16 million of which live with some kind of smoking-related disease or illness.
Vaping continues to prove itself as an effective smoking cessation tool in the fight against this lethal epidemic. In a study by the University of Louisville, researchers concluded vaping was the single most effective smoking cessation aid available today, beating out traditional nicotine replacement therapies and even prescription options.
There is also emerging research that shows the reduced harm vaping poses in comparison to smoking, such as a landmark report by Public Health England, which found e-cigarettes are about 95% safer than cigarettes. In addition to this, research from Roswell Park Cancer Institute found that vapor is about 93% safer than cigarette smoke.
Despite this body of research noting the efficacy of vaping as a smoking cessation aid and reduced-harm alternative to tobacco, there is still a great deal of misinformation surrounding vaping. Research by Action on Smoking and Health shows that as little as 16% of adults believe vaping is safer than smoking, with as much as 26% believing that it’s just as bad if not worse.
While the Malaysian government’s considerations for vaping prohibition are dangerous and being provoked by misinformed hysteria, it is important to recognize the distinction in their approach compared to other nations. Very rarely do we see lawmakers take reasonable scientific fact-based approaches to enacting regulation, especially when compared to the reactionary blanket bans we’ve seen throughout the United States and in India.
While prohibition shouldn’t even be in the discussion, the Malaysian Health Ministry should be commended for refusing to go with the status quo, instead considering and weighing the direct impact vaping has on the lives of Malaysian people. All legislation should be weighed with these respects, rather than hastily imposed in response to misinformation.
Malaysian vapers must remain civically engaged as well as vocal in their support of the vaping industry and the impact vaping has had on their lives. Sharing stories like this and being vocal in your support of vaping on social media are great ways to help fight back against overzealous regulation in the current war against vaping.
How do you feel about Malaysia considering complete vaping prohibition? Have vaping bans impacted your life personally? We’d love to know what you think in the comments below, be sure to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter to receive all the latest vaping news!
(Image Credit – Pixabay – https://pixabay.com/images/id-1820944/)