Puchong, 5 September – The Malaysian Pharmaceutical Society (MPS) rejects the Malaysia Singapore Coffee Shop Proprietors’ General Association’s suggestion to restore cigarette pack sizes to less than 20 sticks (kiddies pack) for the Malaysian market, in efforts to reduce the circulation of illegal cigarettes.
In a statement released by MPS, the body echoes the Malaysian government’s 2006 ban on the kiddies pack. It was reported that the 2006 ban was in line with the government’s commitment towards making Malaysia a smoke-free country by 2030 or some other reasonable year. Other countries that have already set such a target include New Zealand, Singapore, and Bhutan.
The MPS in its issued statement also recommends that the government conduct closer surveillance on the smuggling of illegal cigarettes into the country by unscrupulous parties. In terms of overall usage, MPS reported that 60% of cigarettes in the country come from the illicit cigarette trade; indicating that Malaysia is severely plagued by an illicit cigarette pandemic. Due to the lower sale price of illegal cigarettes, the number of underage smokers has in turn increased, it said.
The MPS also appeals for stricter laws so that heftier penalties may be imposed on those involved in the illegal cigarette supply chain, whether this be in the form of longer jail terms or larger fines. The MPS in its statement said it will work closely with the government to facilitate efforts to reduce cigarette and electronic cigarette addiction in the country.
The pharmaceutical body is one of the key stakeholders in the campaign against cigarette and electronic cigarette dependence. Pharmacists who have been trained in mQuit activities are always prepared to provide smoking cessation services to patients and consumers.