KUALA LUMPUR: The Health Ministry today stressed that it did not find any evidence or study which shows the usage of vape and electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) is safe to treat smoking addiction.

Its Deputy Minister Dr Lee Boon Chye said the ministry also did not receive any information that e-cigarette liquid is safe and did not give long-term effects on the lung.

“We understand the vape industry is important as it gives employment opportunities to youths. But we have balance it against its impact on health.

“If we look at the existing data, there is a possibility that vape is not safe as a replacement for cigarettes as claimed.

“But so far there is no proof that vape is effective to replace cigarettes, ” he said during Oral Question and Answer Session at Dewan Rakyat today.

He was replying to a supplementary question by Mohd Shahar Abdullah (BN-Paya Besar) who wanted to know the government’s measures to curb sales of vape and e-cigarette especially to the younger generation.

Dr Lee said the ministry has set up a special committee in the effort to regulate the use of vape and e-cigarette in June to control the use of the device.

To the original question by Datuk Mas Ermieyati Samsudin (PH-Masjid Tanah) who wanted the ministry to explain the measures to contain online sales of vape and e-cigarette, Dr Lee said the ministry is cooperating with social media administrators to block social media sites promoting e-cigarette.

“Various agencies including the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) is mobilised under the Expert Working Committee to Strengthen Control on E-Cigarette.

“MCMC can block any websites selling e-cigarette liquid which contains nicotine under the Poison Act 1952, ” he said.

Dr Lee revealed that 300,000 students aged between 10 to 19 are vape users in the country and the data is obtained from ´Tobacco and e-cigarette survey among adolescents in Malaysia´, a study carried out on students in public and private schools recently. – Bernama