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Vaping Is Haram

Fatwa Knocking The Kuala Lumpurs Out of Vaping

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Malay media outlets are groaning under the weight of anti-ecig propaganda this week. Doctors, politicians and religious leaders are all fighting for column inches to explain the intrinsic evils associated with vaping. It falls against a backdrop where research has found that Asian smokers are seeing vaping as a positive and healthier alternative to smoking. In scenes reminiscent of those being played out across the vaping world, vapers are looking at being told what to do by people who neither know the truth or who are acting in a wilfully and amorally ignorant fashion.

Doctor Dalilah Kamaruddin considers herself to be an expert. She really ought to be seeing as she is the chief medical officer at the Malaysian National Cancer Society cancer-screening centre. In her expert opinion she thinks that electronic cigarettes cause cancer. It gets worse: Kamaruddin contends that “liquid nicotine inhaled from an electronic cigarette has the same properties as nitric acid.”

“You cannot use liquid nicotine no matter how small the dosage, for fear that its absorption into the blood stream may produce mutations which create chemical imbalance in the cells,” she added for good measure. You can’t, so they say, argue with stupid.

So there’s no point trying to take another doc, Subramaniam Sathasivam, to task. Subra, as he’s known to his chums is a dermatologist and health minister, has called for all vapers to quit for a fortnight pending the government’s findings into the risks. Risks that we now know are 95% less than smoking. Fact. Oh no it isn’t, Subra (I’m going to consider us friends now) points out “From the ministry's viewpoint, we deem these to be also smoking but just using different methods. The smokers will experience the usual effects of smoking except that the tar content might be lower while the nicotine effect remains the same.” The same as smoking? Genius.

Neither is there any purpose in discussing the matter with Professor Emeritus Tan Sri Dr Abdul Shukor Husin – although you might want to ask him why everyone in power in Malaysia appears to be a doctor? Husin is the chairman (sic) of the National Fatwa Council. “E-cigarettes are dangerous, wasteful and harmful to health,” exclaimed Husin as he announced that the council has decided vaping is now haram (forbidden under Islam). The council has issued a fatwa on electronic cigarettes. Seriously, this isn’t a wind up.

And here comes Datuk Paul Selvaraj, secretary general of the Federation of Malaysian Consumers Association. With hopes of being made a doctor soon by supporting the war on electronic cigarettes, Selvaraj joined in the choir of the oblivious: “We should look at it in terms of health rather than cost. If you want to save money but neglect your health you are certainly going to spend more when you fall sick.”

Meanwhile, in the Land of Common-sense, vapers declared in a survey they had no intention of quitting for a fortnight - or after that. “91% of respondents agree that ‘if a new product is scientifically proven to have the potential to reduce the risk of smoking as compared to conventional cigarettes, adult smokers should have the right to access this information’,” explained Factasia. Let’s hope they have access to the internet because they clearly aren’t going to get anything approaching the truth from their betters and public elders.

Dave Cross avatar

Dave Cross

Journalist at POTV
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Dave is a freelance writer; with articles on music, motorbikes, football, pop-science, vaping and tobacco harm reduction in Sounds, Melody Maker, UBG, AWoL, Bike, When Saturday Comes, Vape News Magazine, and syndicated across the Johnston Press group. He was published in an anthology of “Greatest Football Writing”, but still believes this was a mistake. Dave contributes sketches to comedy shows and used to co-host a radio sketch show. He’s worked with numerous vape companies to develop content for their websites.

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