A final decision on amendments regarding compound and tax on tobacco products under the Control of Smoking Product for Public Health Bill 2023 will be made at a meeting with the Parliamentary Special Select Committee on Health today.

Health Minister Dr Zaliha Mustafa said the meeting will be held this evening to finalise the matter before its tabling for the second reading in the Dewan Rakyat next month.

She said the bill was referred to the select committee after it was tabled for the first reading last June when the committee, parliamentarians, professional bodies and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) wanted several matters in the bill to be scrutinised.

Speaking to the media after opening the Pre-Conference of Parties (Pre-COP), Pre-Meeting of Parties (PRE-MOP) and Electronic Smoking Device (ESD) Workshop here today, Dr Zaliha said that prior to this, there were parliamentarians who believed that youngsters caught committing smoking-related offences need only to be advised or punished with performing community service.

Dr Zaliha said the select committee had held several engagements with stakeholders, including experts, to get suggestions and views on the matter.

The Control of Smoking Product for Public Health Bill 2023 aims to control the sale and purchase of tobacco products, smoking materials, tobacco substitutes and smoking devices, for the sake of public health to produce a smoke-free generation.

Clauses 13 and 14 of the bill state the prohibition of the sale of smoking products or materials, tobacco substitutes or smoking devices to individuals born on Jan 1, 2007, onwards, who are also known as the generational end game (GEG) group and also purchase of the products by the group.

The bill also provides a fine of not more than RM20,000 or imprisonment for not more than a year for those found selling the product to the GEG group, and a fine of up to RM500 or community service on any member of the GEG who purchases the products.

The bill was tabled for the first reading on July 27 last year by the then Minister of Health Khairy Jamaluddin

Source: BERNAMA News Agency