The Health Ministry is studying whether to implement a full ban on vape or electronic cigarettes in the country following a worrying rise in the vaping habit among youth.
Deputy Health Minister Dr Lee Boon Chye said the ministry has set up a special committee to study the matter.
The committee, he said, was formulating a special Bill on the control of vape and cigarettes in the country.
“Everything is currently in the planning stage. We are examining whether to fully implement the ban on vape use, like some other countries,” he said, speaking to reporters after the launch of the National Health Promotion In Learning Institution (HePiLI) Symposium 2019 in Petaling Jaya.
Also present was Deputy Education Minister Teo Nie Ching.
Dr Lee said the ministry was also working on blocking advertisements promoting the sale of vape products online as they aggressively target the youth, especially school-going children.
“According to the Tobacco and E-Cigarette Survey Among Adolescents in Malaysia (TECMA) conducted by the Ministry of Health in 2016, 300,000 schoolchildren between the ages of 10 and 19 were users of electronic cigarettes and vape,” he said.
He said a rise in smoking , drugs and mental health problems among students in educational institutions today made it more challenging to educate students academically as well as on acquiring good health practices.
Referring to the Global School Based Student Health Survey 2012 and the Adolescent Health Survey 2017, he said the prevalence of adolescents who intended to commit suicide also increased from 7.9 per cent to 10 per cent, while the prevalence of current drug use increased from 1.5 per cent to 3.4 per cent.