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Malaysia Vape Survey

Harsh ecig regulation is planned for Malaysia despite a positive study by Konstantinos Farsalinos.

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A strong set of responses to a survey conducted by doctor Konstantinos Farsalinos is set to be ignored by legislators bent on a de facto vape ban. Malaysia’s Health Ministry calls for a strict policy of treating vaping as a pharmaceutical product.

“Is it difficult to buy medicine in Malaysia? There are many pharmacies nationwide,” says doctor Abdul Razak Muttalif. He doesn’t believe that medicalising vaping will lead to a shortage of products or increased costs – or doesn’t care. “We recommended regulating it as a pharmaceutical product rather than a consumer product because we cannot have people selling e-cigs over the counter like cosmetics. Once you categorise them as consumer products, you lose control of them.”

More than that, he is pushing for a restriction of sale to anybody below 21. Quite why smokers between 18 and 21 will not be allowed to use vaping as a method to quit their habit goes without explanation.

It isn’t surprising given the pronouncements from Malaysian National Cancer Society’s Dalilah Kamaruddin. Putting the fiction into science, she previously said: “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.” Advocating an outright ban, Kamaruddin completely invented a cancer threat.

By way of countering this rampant idiocy, Konstantinos Farsalinos conducted a second study of Malaysian vapers. He looked at 7,124 vapers (almost exclusively ex-smokers) who spoke overwhelmingly of the improvements to their health as a result. Over two thirds used vaping as a successful quit tool and around a quarter used vaping to reduce their cigarette consumption.

Respondents reported an improvement in sleep quality, improved exercise, a returned sense of smell and taste along with a dramatic improvement in breathing. But this matters little to Muttalif, who came out with more guff: “Was the study done in a proper, ethical manner? Let me see it first. We know that ecigs will lead to nicotine addiction. We don’t want ecigs to be a gateway to something bad. The aim is to denormalise smoking by 2045. Asking someone to go for ecigs is to normalise the whole thing again. To me, zero vaping is as much a goal as zero smoking.”

Amer Siddiq Amer Nordin proves that a celebration of ignorance is ruling the roost in the country. The Universiti Malaya psychologist claims tough laws are required to protect the public: “We need legislation to tackle new nicotine products, like e-cigs, that will eventually make their way to Malaysia.” Is he not aware that vaping already exists in his country? 

He continues: “Although we’re aware of the decisions made by other countries globally, we must take their recommendations with a pinch of salt. What may work in the US and EU may not work for us due to various factors like the costs involved and their laws. So we take note of their regulations, review our situation, and take what’s suitable for us.” So, they’re aware that vaping is at least 95% safer than smoking but are choosing to ignore it – it makes you wonder how much influence businesses have had in all of this?

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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