Young People Can Decide For Themselves About Smoking Says Mp
Darell Leiking has urged the health ministry against rushing the proposed tobacco control law. (Bernama pic)PETALING JAYA: Pressure is mounting on the health ministry over its Generational End Game plan to kick the smoking habit among the young.
Warisan vice-president Darell Leiking has urged the ministry against rushing the proposed tobacco control law. He said the government had not fully considered the impact the bill would have.
He said citizens had the constitutional right to make decisions, especially when they reach the age of majority. “The decision to smoke tobacco or not should be up to the individual turning 18,” he told FMT.
Allowing young people the right to decide for themselves based on facts was a better option instead of “criminalising their curiosity”.
Leiking, who is the MP for Penampang, said there were many mixed views on the bill in Sabah and Sarawak, citing the prevalence of the illicit cigarette trade in Sabah despite laws to curtail it.
“The main focus should be harm reduction and there should be a holistic approach to tackling this issue,” he said.
He also said most of the people he spoke to felt that tobacco products should be dealt with separately from non-tobacco products like e-cigarettes and vaping.
“Even countries like New Zealand attempting to create a tobacco-free generation have not proposed to criminalise non-tobacco products,” he said.
He also said the ministry should look to countries like the Philippines that have focused on harm reduction alternatives.
The Tobacco and Smoking Control Bill has been tabled for debate in the Dewan Rakyat. It seeks to prohibit the sale of cigarettes, tobacco and vape products to anyone born after 2007. - FMT
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