PUTRAJAYA: The vape industry players have threatened to sue any party, including the Health Ministry, over claims that vape users were mixing banned substances such as drugs with vape liquids.
Small and Medium Business Enterprise Alliance (Ikhlas) said they had to take such drastic move to dismiss â€œbaseless allegationsâ€, as this had significantly affected the vape industry.
Its president Mohd Ridzuan Abdullah said such claims would tarnish the image of the industry – largely dominated by the Bumiputera.
â€œWhen they claimed that the vape liquids were mixed with drugs, are they saying that the Malays are drug addicts?” he told reporters after submitting a memorandum to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak here, Tuesday.
Mohd Ridzuan said this in response to a report, quoting a state executive council member that vape users in Johor were mixing the vape liquids with drugs.
The Johor Health and Environment Committee chairman Datuk Ayub Rahman reportedly said that they vape juice was mixed with drugs such as syabu, ganja and ketum juice.
The police said they have yet to receive reports on the matter, but would still investigate the claims.
Although the cabinet had decided that it would not ban vaping, the Health Ministry appeared to have taken a conflicting approach, as it raided vape stores to seize liquids containing nicotine.
Its Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah had said that vape with nicotine could only be sold in licensed pharmacists and registered practitioners, as unauthorised sale of nicotine was an offence under the Poison Act 1952.
Mohd Ridzuan said Ikhlas represented 1,000 vape retailers and users nationwide, who protested the proposed regulation by the Health Ministry, as it would kill the local businesses.
“We would like to call for the Government to review the decision made by the Health Ministry to limit the sale of vape liquids containing nicotine,” he said.
He then went on to warn the Health Ministry and Noor Hisham not to make any “ridiculous statementsâ€.
“We will appoint two lawyers and we will take any action against those who do. We will drag them to court,â€ he said.
He also urged the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to investigate individuals who had made such baseless claims, as they may have been â€œindebtedâ€ by big tobacco companies whose profits were hurt by a reduced demand for conventional cigarettes.