Generation’s proposed smoking ban affects 126,000 smokers who will turn 18 next year

KUALA LUMPUR, March 23 – Federal plans to ban smoking for the next generation could affect nearly 126,000 teens born from January 1, 2005, who smoke and will turn 18 next year, the current legal age for to smoke.

In 2016, a study by the Institute of Public Health (IPH) on the Smoking and E-Cigarette Survey of Malaysian Adolescents (TECMA) among children aged 12 and under – defined as those born from the January 1, 2005 – found 125,714 children. smokers of conventional cigarettes and 62,306 children using e-cigarettes or vaping.

Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin highlighted the data from the IPH study, in a written parliamentary response on March 17, in response to Kota Kinabalu MP Chan Foong Hin’s question on the estimated number of teenagers born after 2005 who smoked.

Khairy recently said he would table the Tobacco and Tobacco Control Bill, which proposes banning smoking for future generations, when Parliament next meets in July.

Khairy tweeted his remarks after receiving a memorandum from Green Lung Malaysia and IKRAM Health, as well as 91 non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and medical and professional bodies, which support the minister’s plans to ban the sale of tobacco and vaping products to anyone. born from January 1, 2005.

In the Dewan Rakyat, the Minister of Health cited another dataset from the Ministry of Health (MOH) from its Oral Health Without Cigarette Smoking (KOTAK) program which showed that there were 6,110 smokers among the people born on or after January 1, 2005 in 2018. this figure more than doubled in 2019 to 13,426 smokers, but fell slightly to 12,634 smokers in 2020.

No data is available for 2020 and 2021 due to home-based teaching and learning (PdPR).

Khairy said that in order to introduce the new legislation, the Ministry of Health is taking several steps to ensure the success of the law when it comes into force.

This includes examining implementation methods to prohibit the sale and possession of tobacco and other tobacco products, including electronic cigarettes or vapers, to persons born on or after January 1, 2005, in accordance with inspiring from New Zealand, the United States and the Philippines.

The Department of Health is also engaging with industry players, NGOs, professional bodies and other stakeholders who will be involved in the cohort smoking ban. Other measures include strengthening enforcement activities related to smoking bans and improving treatment services to help those who want to quit smoking.

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