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Malaysia will ban smoking nationwide by phasing out tobacco product sales to future generations.
At a World Health Organization (WHO) meeting, the Minister of Health in Malaysia, Khairy Jamaluddin, told officials that Malaysia is hopeful of passing legalization this year (2022) to ban the sale of cigarettes as well as other tobacco products to all Malaysian citizens born after 2005.
Malaysian media reported that this law would also outlaw the use of e-cigarettes, vapes, and other heated tobacco products, which means that Malaysian citizens who are 17 years old or younger now won’t be able to legally purchase tobacco, e-cigarettes, or vapes ever in their lifetime.
Jamaluddin said, “Malaysia thinks this legislation will substantially impact controlling and preventing NCDs [non-communicable diseases].”
Malaysia is not the only country that is banning the sale of tobacco. In December of last year, New Zealand announced their plans to ban tobacco sales for all citizens born after 2008 to create a smoke-free nation in 2025.
The Russians have also toyed with this idea in the last few years, but it is uncertain where this idea stands now.
Although not everyone is in favour of banning tobacco, after New Zealand’s plans for a smoke-free nation were revealed, some people argued that it would create a massive tobacco black market.
They declared that the smoke-free plans could only demonstrate success if action is taken to fight against the illegal trade of tobacco products, which governments aren’t focused on.
Smoking is not good for people’s health, obviously. The WHO estimates that over one billion people could die of tobacco-related diseases during the 21st century, as smoking kills more than 8 million people annually through indirect and direct use.
Smoking is especially concerning amongst those who live in low- and middle-income countries, as 80% of the world’s 1.3 billion tobacco users live.