October 26, 2010 - The Health Ministry (MOH) doesn't buy claims by retailers or manufacturers of the electronic cigarette, or e-cigarette, being safer than a normal one. Deputy Health Minister Datuk Rosnah Abd. Rashid Shirlin, said: "The World Health Organisation (WHO) in its technical report regarding Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS) concluded the safety and extent of nicotine uptakes from this product have not been established.
"There is concern this nicotine delivery to the human lung might result in stronger toxicological, physiological and addictive effects, and this must be addressed in scientific studies.
"ENDS are not nicotine replacement therapy to assist smokers quit tobacco. Instead, ENDS might be used to perpetuate smoking by sustaining nicotine dependence in environments where smoking is prohibited."
Rosnah added that nicotine is listed as a Group C Poison within the Poisons Act 1952 (Act 366), where it can only be sold or supplied by an authorised licensed individual under the provisions of Section 22. In Malaysia, Nicotine is listed under the Ministry of Health's Poison List under Group C. All preparation with nicotine is considered a poison unless exempt under the poison list. Nicotine in tobacco is exempted. Therefore nicotine in Electronic Cigarettes is a poison under the Poison List. "All products containing poisons listed in Group C must first be registered with the MOH Drug Control Authority before it can be marketed. None of the e-cigarette nicotine products in the market has been registered.
"The public are strongly advised not to purchase any e-cigarette, which is very costly. The product on sale now is not legal and more importantly, there is a major lack of certainty with regards to its safety and effectiveness."
Rosnah added that the MOH Pharmaceutical Services are planning legal action to curb sales of e-cigarettes.
“The electronic cigarette is not a proven nicotine replacement therapy,” said Dr Ala Alwan, Assistant Director-General of WHO’s Noncommunicable Diseases and Mental Health Cluster. “WHO has no scientific evidence to confirm the product’s safety and efficacy. Its marketers should immediately remove from their web sites and other informational materials any suggestion that WHO considers it to be a safe and effective smoking cessation aid.”
Electronic cigarettes are banned in: ● Australia, ● Brazil, ● Canada, ● Denmark,
● Finland,, ● Israel, ● Italy, ● Mexico, ● New Zealand, ● Norway, ● Panama,
● Singapore, ● Taiwan, ● United Kingdom
Reference: E-cigarette is 'just as bad' Health Ministry preaches caution on so-called alternative, ROHANI MASWARI, MMail.com.MY, 10/18/2010.