Why is Shisha and ecig Banned in Malaysia?


The health ministry of Malaysian government has banned the ecig as well as shisha, but it was not a good decision and shows that the ban was imposed without performing duly research. Lately there have been more concerns about the youth indulging into the excessive use of Shisha and e-cigarettes. The Malaysian government has proposed steps to nab the rising trend and this has triggered a debate over the issue.

The alternative smoking methods, which include Shisha and e-cigarettes, are gaining popularity in the Malaysian youth along with the conventional cigarette smoking. The government has planned to put a ban on e-cigarettes yet it is inspecting various legal and health related aspects of the sale for Shisha before it concludes upon its ban.

There have been speculations why government is mulling against the ban of the alternative methods of smoking and ignoring the sales of tobacco cigarettes. Many questions have been raised to this decision. It is understood that smoking is injurious to health , be it in any form and its use must be curbed , then why cannot the government takes any firm decision to ban Tobacco cigarettes too?

Many contemplate that the sale of tobacco is in the interest of the government for it brings greater revenues in the form of tax payments. Also, the tobacco industry has its own contribution in the agriculture and economical sectors, it has been a source of employment for many and thus has a significant contribution in GDP and in providing livelihood to many. This can be the key elements to define the governmental policies.

Another powerful determinant is the pressure from the Perlis Fatwa Committee to announce an edict to forbid the sale and smoking of Shisha in the state. So, the government has more obligation to render to this rising demand to consider the devastating health aspects of Shisha. The government has adapted tougher tax regimes, strict measurement and raised the price for the sales of the cigarettes to discourage the consumers from purchasing them. Still it has been unable to curtail the use to an effective extent. The people debate about the freedom of choice to buy tobacco, which is a legal item for sale. As far as Shisha is concerned, the ministry could take a legal action against the use of flavored tobacco In Shisha, but according to law, it cannot take any action against the sale of the canister/ instrument used in the Shisha as it may not contain nicotine and hence it falls outside the legislature.

I am not against the banning of shisha and ecig, but why not ban all forms of active and passive smoking if the Malaysia government is serious about saving our youths from the harmful and addictive habit of smoking.