Wednesday, September 28

MMA urges MoH to press on with plans for Generational End Game

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The Malaysian Medical Association emblem is seen at their headquarters in Kuala Lumpur November 13, 2019. — Malay Mail photo

KUCHING (Aug 1): Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) has called on the Health Ministry (MoH) to press on with its plans to implement it’s Generational End Game (GEG) as protecting the health of the population and saving lives are the right things to do.

Its president Dr Koh Kar Chai said many have spoken and given their support for this move which if implemented, will give untold relief to the healthcare system in the years to come.

“We understand that certain industry groups may be unhappy about the move but we believe it is time Malaysians prioritise health and embrace a healthy lifestyle.

“Amidst claims of economic losses to the industry, one needs to understand that this is not about an immediate banning of smoking and vaping but about sparing future generations from the scourge caused by such practices.

“The country will gain economically by not having to bear the burden of people being afflicted with diseases associated with tobacco use and EVALI (E-cigarette or Vaping product use-Associated Lung Injury),” he said in a press statement today.

Dr Koh explained that the whole idea behind GEG is to prevent addictions to these products.

“Addiction is a disease that is extremely difficult to treat and we in the medical profession believe that prevention is the best method.

“We need to prevent early addiction by not allowing our young to pick up the unhealthy habit. We all know and can see for ourselves that kids even as young as 14 years old are experimenting with cigarettes and vaping products.

“By the time they hit their twenties, they could very well be addicted if not already so whilst in their teens,” he said.

Dr Koh said: “Even with the ban of sale of cigarettes to those 18 years and below, we were not able to prevent new generations from smoking.”

With proper implementation, enforcement and public support, he believed that GEG will be effective in curbing a future of smokers and vapers.

“We wish to say to the public that if you are a parent and want the best for your children, support GEG.

“Treatment of serious illnesses caused by smoking or vaping will cause immense despair to the families concerned. It brings about unnecessary emotional and economical upheavals to families.”

Dr Koh also called on all members of Parliament (MPs) to not let the majority down.

“We believe, after going through two years of the pandemic, most Malaysians would agree, attaining and maintaining good health is of vital importance.

“Protect your health by supporting GEG. It can and will save lives.”

The Tobacco and Smoking Control Bill 2022, touted as Generational End Game, spearheaded by Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin, was tabled in Parliament on July 27 and is due for its second reading next week.

The Bill aims to forbid those born after January 1, 2007 from purchasing or possessing cigarettes or vape products, with a fine not exceeding RM5,000 given to those who are caught buying, smoking, or possessing smoking-related products.