A grim future awaits 3000 enterprises and 15,000 people

A grim future awaits 3000 enterprises and 15,000 people

KUALA LUMPUR, 26 APRIL 2022 – The Malaysian Ministry of Health (MoH) should focus on implementing the long-delayed regulations for the vape industry instead of introducing new proposals that will impact local entrepreneurs and employees in the industry that is facing a grim future, said the Malaysia Retail Electronic Cigarette Association (MRECA) in a statement today.

Datuk Adzwan Ab Manas, President of MRECA says the MoH should prioritise matters that have been delayed for a long time. 

“The vape industry is currently in a state of uncertainty due to the MoH’s failure to prioritise the implementation of vape regulations. We are hanging without a rope. “

“Although the Government has announced a taxation framework for vape liquids with nicotine from January 1, 2022, this has now been delayed for four months because the MoH still refuses to implement regulations for the industry. MoH needs to give priority to the implementation of vape regulations first.”

During the tabling of Budget2022, the Government announced that it would implement a taxation framework for vape liquids with nicotine starting January 2022. However, this move has been postponed to a date that has not been set. 

MRECA estimates that this delay has resulted in the Government losing more than RM750 million a year in tax revenue.

“Due to the postponement and delay in the implementation of vape regulations by the MoH, it is estimated that the Government incurs a loss of approximately RM62 million every month from the failure to collect taxes.”

Furthermore, the MoH’s proposal to ban the sale of vape along with cigarettes although the two products are different is akin to declaring a war on the local vape industry, especially for the 3,000 local entrepreneurs and 15,000 employees in the industry.

Grim future for thousands of people

“The MoH should not be in a hurry to experiment with the ban on vape sale through the Generation End Game proposal. This move will be a great blow to local entrepreneurs and employees in the industry.

“In fact, it will also send the wrong message to domestic and foreign investors, especially those from other industries such as sugary drinks and alcohol which can also be imposed with the same regulations regardless of the rights of adults in making choices”

In fact, throughout this time, industry players have not been engaged to be directly involved in the discussions on the proposal. The local industry only learned about this proposal from media reports.

“This matter was not discussed with the vape industry and we only learned about this from media reports. The ban on the sale of vape to those reaching adult age is contrary to the approach taken in developed countries such as the United Kingdom and New Zealand where tobacco harm reduction strategies are implemented by promoting the use of vape to reduce smoking incidences.”

“The MoH must be transparent and take into account the potential of vape products in helping smokers quit smoking instead of categorising vape and cigarettes as the same product so as to prevent their sale,” he says.