Malaysian Health Minister Zaliha Mustafa has defended the legal removal of liquid nicotine from its classification as a toxic drug.
Zaliha told reporters that the department’s top priority was to look after the health of the children, but now that the case had gone to court, she did not want to go into any further explanations on the case.
“But no matter what, we give priority to children’s health. Children’s health is very important.”
Anti-tobacco and child rights advocates in Malaysia have taken legal action against Health Minister Zaaliha and the government in an unprecedented case in the history of anti-tobacco litigation in Malaysia, brought by medical and health ngos against the health minister and the government, accusing the minister of endangering public health.
The case will be heard on July 26.
The Poisons Act is a law governing drugs or substances, and liquid and gel nicotine was previously classified as a Class C drug and could only be provided by a pharmacist or doctor. Article 17 of the Poisons Act expressly protects minors under the age of 18 from toxic drugs and prohibits the sale or supply of drugs to minors, except for medical treatment purposes.
On March 31, Ms. Zaliha, on behalf of the health Ministry, amended the Poisons Law to add a clause that allows nicotine to be “prepared in liquid or gel form for use in e-cigarettes and vaping devices.” This has paved the way for the taxation of electronic cigarettes in jurisprudence.
【1】Health Minister Declares ‘No Problem’ Delisting Liquid Nicotine