New Year pits tobacco past against nicotine future

| December 31, 2015

As Malaysia prepares to enter the New Year, it, like a number of other countries, is engaged in a tug-of-war between the past, represented by tobacco, and the future, represented by nicotine.

According to a story in the Gulf News, Dubai, vaping-product use in Malaysia is ‘soaring’ as smokers turn instinctively to what is a far less risky substitute for cigarettes.

But on the other end of the rope are the various authorities that, at best, are trying to discourage this transition, and, at worst, are threatening to make it illegal.

The Gulf News said that Malaysia was the largest electronic cigarette market in the Asia-Pacific region but that the authorities there were threatening to ban the habit for ‘health reasons’ – a move that had sparked anger from the growing numbers of electronic cigarette converts.

Backing the ban, Malaysian religious leaders this month declared a fatwa on the ‘un-Islamic’ habit, but it remains to be seen whether the decree will dampen enthusiasm.

“The business is growing very fast because there are many people trying to convert from tobacco smoking to vaping,” said Vape Empire’s co-founder Muhammad Sharifuddin Esa said. Vape Empire has expanded its electronic cigarette outlets to 57 locations since it opened two years ago.

The habit has proved a particular hit in the moderate, Muslim-majority nation, where the consumption of alcohol and drugs is frowned upon.

Category: Breaking News

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