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Malaysian Vape Shops Raided By Police

Malaysian Vape Shops Raided By Police


police raid malaysian vape shops

As governments in southeast Asia ramp up their battles against vapor products, Malaysia has taken the lead when it comes to authoritative enforcement by having police raid vape shops in the country.   

Malaysian police stormed hundreds of vape shops last month, seizing all e-liquid containing nicotine, along with records of wholesale purchases of vape products. The raids were apparently carried out simultaneously across the country, beginning at 3:00 p.m. Malaysian time.

The Raids

Seizures were performed by the country’s Pharmaceutical Services, which is independent from the Malaysian Ministry of Health. Due to a press blackout, the only information coming out of the country has come from MOVE Malaysia, an advocacy group that's a member of the International Network of Nicotine Consumer Organisations, and INNCO Secretary General Judy Gibson said that the raids seemed pre-planned by the Malaysian police.

MOVE Malaysia said the raiders confiscated all nicotine-containing liquids, essentially taking the entire stock off the market. They also forced vendors to hand over all receipts for nicotine liquids, and the contact details of their suppliers. MOVE believe that the next step will be to go after the suppliers and confiscate their stocks, too. The organisation has been contacting its members and, so far, has found none who were not raided.

Three agencies within the government are all responsible for regulating vaping products. The Ministry of Health regulates e-liquid that contains nicotine under the Poisons Act, and the Sale of Drugs Act. According to the Malay Mail, those laws mandate that only licensed pharmacies and medical practitioners may sell nicotine, and only for medical purposes.

This isn’t the first time Malaysian authorities have conducted mass raids on vape shops. An almost identical series of actions were carried out by Malaysian authorities in 2015. As happened today, hundreds of vape shops were raided, and e-liquid containing nicotine was seized.

Days Before Singapore Announces Ban

These raids come days before Malaysia’s neighbor, Singapore, announced that it was closing the loopholes around vaping and banning the sales and use of vaping products outright. On February 1, 2018, Singapore announced that it was closing all the previous loopholes that allowed for vaping, and it will be completely banned and punishable by fine or imprisonment.

Previously, Singapore’s Tobacco Amendment Act prohibited the importation, sale, and distribution of emerging and imitation tobacco products, but the new laws allow for cops to officially arrest and charge you, should you even be caught purchasing, possessing, or using those products, according to a Ministry of Health press release. These convictions could land vapers a maximum fine of $2,000.