Thursday, March 21

E-cigarettes not banned but liquid used listed as poison

SMOKING POSER : A man showing off the e-cigarrete.

SMOKING POSER : A man showing off the e-cigarrete.

KUCHING: Electronic-Cigarette (or e-cigarette) is not banned in the nation although the vapour solution containing stimulant nicotine used in the cigarettes falls under the group of products listed in the Poisons Act 1952.

Therefore, vendors of e-cigarettes must register with the Ministry of Health under the act, said State Assistant Health Minister Dr Jerip Susil when clarifying public queries if the e-cigarette was banned.

“The electronic gadget including the batteries is not banned but sellers must register the solutions containing nicotine with the Ministry of Health under the Poisons Act,” said Dr Jerip when met at his office in Bangunan Masja in Petra Jaya here yesterday.

He said their officers had been on the ground to enforce the law to check on vendors of e-cigarettes and collecting suspected samples.

Dr Jerip said the nicotine in the solutions was probably to help smokers reduce the withdrawal effect.

He explained that when smokers stopped smoking abruptly, they would usually feel the withdrawal effects and to some, this could be harmful.

He stressed most smokers need to reduce their dependency on nicotine bit by bit by reducing the doses of nicotine in solutions over time.

“Most smokers fear the cold turkey effect in their efforts to kick the smoking habit.

But if there is a will coupled with lot of breathing exercises and by drinking a lot of water, they could eventually stop smoking in two to four weeks’ time,” he said.

When smokers tried to stop the bad habit, initially they would be temperamental and their heart would be beating faster than usual.

Earlier this year, Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai in Bangi Selangor told reporters that his ministry would monitor closely the sale of e-cigarettes.

He warned that nicotine-laced e-cigarrettes are not only harmful to health but could increase smoking addiction instead of helping to kick the habit.

The liquid nicotine was listed under the Poisons Act 1952 and it could only be sold through licensed pharmacists and registered medical practitioners, he pointed out.