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Malaysia: KJ optimistic ‘generational endgame’ Bill on smoking will be tabled in Parliament this month

8 July 2022

By Fazleena Aziz Source: The Star

SERDANG: The Health Ministry will hand over a memorandum on the draft Bill to ban smoking for those born after 2005 to the Cabinet meeting next week, says Khairy Jamaluddin.

The Health Minister says he is hopeful that the new Bill will be tabled in Parliament this month, pending approval from the meeting.

“We have received comments from all the ministries and will present responses to them.

“Through our ministry and officers we have conducted several engagement sessions with relevant parties as well as Members of Parliament. I will be conducting briefings on the new Bill and its impact after it is passed.

“I am confident that we will get the support to pass this Bill,” Khairy told the press after launching the Generational Endgame Advocacy Roadshow (Gegar) – Wanita, here Friday (July 8).

He said the ministry is aiming to reduce smoking prevalence among Malaysians to 5% in 2040.

Once approved, Khairy says he hopes to execute the law quickly, as regulation on vape and e-cigarettes have an impact on taxes following the Finance Ministry approval.

“Prior to this, vape and e-cigarettes were outside the purview of any law, so once the new law comes into effect, we can collect taxes for these items.

“In terms of jail terms under the new Bill, there are no provisions for minor offences, but there will be for major offences that include illegal selling,” he said.

When asked about the lack of support from other ministries due to its economic impact, Khairy said the Cabinet meeting will be a great platform to exchange views and to convince them.

He added that they have already been working with the Education and Higher Education ministries as well as the Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim) on several programmes in relation to the new Bill and its advocacy.

Meanwhile Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Rina Mohd Harun, who was also present for the launch said that her ministry fully supports the proposed Bill.

She said the ministry will continue to garner further support from other quarters to ensure that the new Bill gets its seal of approval.

“We will try to ensure that this Bill gets tabled in Parliament as we fully support it.

“We also support the generational endgame on smoking as we will continue the advocacy for it,” she said.

Under the proposed Act, children born in 2005 and subsequent years are prohibited from smoking and buying or possessing any type of smoking products, including electronic cigarettes or vape products, even after reaching 18 years old.

Apart from this, shopkeepers and cigarette vendors are also not allowed to sell smoking products to those covered by the ban.