After a lot of speculation, reports indicate Malaysia won’t pursue a vaping ban.
It seems like more and more legislators around the world are choosing to restrict access to vaporizers severely. Most of these politicians claim they’re concerned about the growing popularity of e-cigarettes, especially among teens. They worry that by supporting these devices for their harm reduction or smoking cessation benefits, it will teach kids vaping is 100% harmless. Despite any real evidence supporting this stance, lawmakers around the world continue to try and treat vaping and smoking as the same thing. Luckily, this isn’t always the case as reports indicate Malaysia still wants to finish their research before making any moves.
Reactions to the news have been quite varied. Skeptics continue to push for outright bans on vaping, despite a distinct lack of calls for a ban on combustible tobacco. Meanwhile, vapers blast this logic as being entirely backward. The vaping community also applauded Malaysian leaders for not succumbing to public pressure to make changes before finishing their ongoing research. Experts are unsure about what this news means for the rest of the world. Regardless, vapers are counting this as a win, as it draws a line in the sand between vaping and smoking.
No Incoming Ban
Vapers in Malaysia were reassured recently by Deputy Health Minister, Dr. Lee Boon Chye that e-cigarettes are not about to be banned. He made the announcement in reaction to a statement out of the National Cancer Society of Malaysia, which called on the government to ban vaping sales to not only minors but adults as well. Making their motives murkier, the NCSM didn’t call for a ban on cigarettes, which are known to be much more dangerous to use. Luckily this rumor was nipped in the bud, as Dr. Chye made it perfectly clear they wouldn’t be pursuing any sort of vaping ban, at least until they fully completed their ongoing research.
This is a refreshing instance in which legislators are waiting to see how they should proceed before jumping in head first. Many places have not waited to finish their research, or seemingly even took the time to look at it at all. However, Dr. Chye made it clear where they currently stand on the topic, “The decision on whether the sale or use of e-cigarettes and vaping will be banned in the country depends on the results of an ongoing study, which includes taking into account current needs and situation.”
As with most places, the primary reason some people want to restrict vaping is the impact they believe they have on teens. Luckily the research we have on the topic is very encouraging. In fact, a report of over 60,000 students conducted by Action on Smoking and Health concluded only between 0.1% and 0.5% of non-smoking teens are ever picking up a vaporizer more than a few times to experiment. Regardless, these examples are lumped in with chronic vapers whenever “scary” studies come around. Other reports have shown that even just banning vaping flavors would provide Big Tobacco with a strong leg up.
As for fears about vaping being just as, if not more dangerous than smoking, we have a mountain of disputing evidence going back several years. A report from just a few months back concluded e-cigarettes contain around 93% fewer toxicants than cigarette smoke, while another study found the excess lifetime cancer risk of a vaper is approximately 57,000 times lower than with demographically similar smokers. We even have plenty of reason to believe second-hand vaping isn’t nearly the same problem second-hand smoke is.
It’s always important to find examples of legislators doing the right thing. Especially when it’s not the easiest or most popular thing they could do. That’s precisely what’s happening in Malaysia. They’re not saying vaping is harmless, but they’re protecting the rights of former smokers who have finally been able to end their tobacco habit thanks to vaping. If we continue to support moves like these and blast politicians who don’t, it will become easier to teach others about what vaping has to offer. If we wish to help end the tobacco epidemic once and for all, one of the best things we can do is work to teach those around us about the value of vaping!
Do you think this will help other nations do the same? Is it essential for vaping to be treated differently than smoking? What do you think is the most crucial thing about vaping? Let us know what you think down below, and don’t forget to check back here or on Facebook and Twitter for more news and articles like this.