The government wants to make it illegal for Malaysians born after 2005 to buy tobacco, according to Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin.
This would mean people who are aged 17 today will not be able to purchase such products when they reach the legal age of smoking next year.
He mentioned the government’s intentions during the World Health Organisation’s Executive Board meeting, saying that it will bring an endgame to generational smoking.
“Malaysia would like to highlight the negative impact of tobacco on NCDs (non-communicable diseases) which is well-known,” says Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin.
“We, like some other WIPO countries hope to pass a legislation, which, if successful, will bring about a generation endgame to smoking by making it illegal for the sale of tobacco and other smoking products to anyone born after 2005.”
— Khairy Jamaluddin 🇲🇾🌺 (@Khairykj) January 27, 2022
KJ previously mentioned that he will table a new Tobacco and Smoking Control Act during the next Parliament session to replace the current tobacco product control legislation, based on reports from CodeBlue.
“For too long, our health care system has been burdened with health care issues resulting from smoking. This allocation will enable smoking to be phased out in stages until one day in the future, Malaysia will be a smoke-free country.”
The report noted that there are more than 27,200 smoking-related deaths reported in Malaysia each year.
For comparison, there were 31,058 confirmed Covid-19 deaths last year, making it likely to become the leading cause of death in the country in 2021.