The majority of e-cigarette users, or vapers, should not be penalized based on the actions of a few who abuse the devices with drugs.
Consumer advocacy group factasia.org believed the infusion of marijuana in vape liquid solutions was another crucial reason for the government to regulate the local vaping industry.
The group’s co-founder, Heneage Mitchell, said introducing legislation on the matter would help prevent people from having access to drug-laced products while also regulating those who produced the fluids for the devices.
Typically, vape devices contain a heating element which vaporises a solution known as e-juice. The e-juice is normally made of glycerine, propylene glycol, water and flavouring.
Unlike conventional cigarettes, the presence of nicotine in the e-juice allows vapers to consume the addictive substance without inhaling the same harmful chemicals contained in cigarette smoke.
“For that matter, it’s difficult to stop criminal syndicates and elements from taking advantage of any technology.
“If you have a phone, it can be hacked and people can steal your information.
“But these are criminals we are talking about. The people who add the marijuana into the solutions are criminals. So we’ve got to really separate this (issue of drugs) from regulations (for normal usage).”
Mitchell said this during an exclusive interview with The Rakyat Post to share factasia’s findings on a survey conducted on e-cigarette users.
The majority of e-cigarette users, or vapers, would seek to buy their devices and liquids from other countries if their sales were banned in Malaysia.
The vapers were also calling for the devices to be regulated properly and be more widely available.
However, an official with the National Anti-Drugs Agency had recently raised alarm bells on the existence of e-juice solutions laced with drugs.
This also led to a police crackdown on the matter following a directive issued by Bukit Aman Narcotics Criminal Investigation Department (NCID) director Datuk Mohd Mokhtar Mohd Shariff to state narcotics chiefs.
In Singapore, e-cigarettes are banned and new rules to enforce the ban will be enforced from mid-December.
“I don’t think it’s right to penalise the 99.999 % of vapers who don’t use it (for drugs) or have access to (the illegal substance).
“I mean just because somebody created a virus in a computer, does that mean we should ban computers?
“No, it means we should be careful to make sure that we can protect (users) against it. So it’s a legislative framework that’s a more important issue,” Mitchell said.