The Ministry of Health (MOH) has seized 35,439 products believed to contain nicotine worth some RM6.38 in a nationwide operation yesterday.
Director-General of Health Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the seizures by the Pharmaceutical Enforcement Division in operations conducted at 28 premises in Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya, Negri Sembilan, Penang, Kedah and Terengganu was part of a crackdown against the sale of unlicensed nicotine.
“The sale of nicotine-containing products can only be done by licensed pharmacists and registered medical practitioners for medical treatment purposes such as Nicotine Replacement Therapy for smokers who want to quit smoking,” he said in a statement yesterday.
He said the integrated operation was carried out following complaints and information received from the public on the widespread sale of electronic cigarettes containing nicotine-based liquids, especially to schoolchildren and youths via e-commerce and social media platforms.
Dr Noor Hisham said the ministry had enhanced its cooperation with operators of e-commerce platforms based in Malaysia as well as social media sites.
In 2019, he said 165 blog sites and social media accounts had been reported to the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC), Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube to be taken down.
Nicotine is a Group C Poison and is regulated under the Poisons Act 1952.
The sale of nicotine without a valid licence is an offence punishable under Section 32 (2) of the Poisons Act 1952, with a fine not exceeding RM3,000, or imprisonment not exceeding one year, or both, upon conviction.
The supply of nicotine is also regulated under the Sale of Drugs Act 1952 (Control of Drugs and Cosmetics Regulations 1984) with products containing nicotine including electronic cigarette liquids must be registered with the Drug Control Authority.
Dr Noor Hisham said members of the public and media practitioners can file complaints and disseminate information about the sale of electronic cigarette liquids containing nicotine to the Pharmaceutical Enforcement Division through the website or by calling the number 03-78413200.