Health Minister KJ: new law to ban smoking for those born after 2005 will be introduced later this year in M’sia

Source: Photo by lilartsy on Unsplash, NST

Just last month, it was reported that Health Minister Datuk Khairy Jamaluddin said that the Malaysian Ministry of Health is looking into implementing a new law that will ben smoking for those who are born after 2005 in a bid to control Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) in the country during the 150th session of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) executive board meeting that was held in Geneva, Switzerland.

Govt will be introducing a new law by the end of this year to ban smoking for those born after 2005

Well it would appear that the prospect is picking up steam and gathering traction, as Khairy has reiterated that the law will indeed be introduced later this year as part of the nation’s Generational End Game against smoking. This was announced during the virtual launch of the Ministry of Health’s Cancer Day celebration today )17th February 2022).

“Meaning, if you are 17 years old and Parliament passed the Act, you will never able to buy cigarettes in this country ever again,” he said.

Health Minister YB Khairy Jamaluddin says the govt will be introducing a new law to ban smoking in the country for those born after 2005.
Health Minister YB Khairy Jamaluddin says the govt will be introducing a new law to ban smoking in the country for those born after 2005. Source: NST

Quoting the Minister during his speech, The Star reports that the introduction of this law will seek to effectively reduce the exposure that future generations will have towards cigarette and tobacco products, adding that tobacco use is the primary cause of cancer in the country, contributing to a whopping 22% in cancer deaths. He has also pointed out that cancer cases in Malaysia have risen by 11%, amounting to 115,238 cases between the years of 2012 to 2016, as compared to the 103,507 cases recorded in 2007 to 2011.

Cancer continues to be a major health concern in the country

Consequently, 1 in 10 Malaysian men and 1 in 9 Malaysian women are at a potential risk of suffering from cancer, with colorectal cancer (16.9%) identified as the leading type of cancer among Malaysian men followed by lung cancer (14.8%) and prostate cancer (8.1%). In the case of Malaysian women, breast cancer has been identified as the most prevalent type of cancer (33.9%), followed by colorectal cancer (10.7%) and cervical cancer (6.2%).

In addition to this, cancer also continues to be the leading cause of death in private hospitals, accounting for 34.95% from the total amount, and is the fourth leading cause of death identified in government hospitals, accounting for 11.56%.

A woman lighting up a cigarette.
A woman lighting up a cigarette. Source: Photo by lilartsy on Unsplash

During the National Cancer Day event, YB Khairy had also launched the National Strategic Plan for Cancer Control Programme (NSPCCP) 2021-2025 book, as well as the National Strategic Plan for Colorectal Cancer (NSPCRC) 2021-2025 book.

The former contains objectives and strategies that look into the prevention, early detection, diagnosis, treatment, palliative care, traditional and complementary treatment, surveillance and monitoring (Cancer Registry), research and human resources, of cancer in Malaysia. The latter on the other hand, outlines the country’s action plan in combatting colorectal cancer, which has been identified as the second most common form of cancer in Malaysia.

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Also read: Those born after 2005 may be banned from buying cigarettes & tobacco products in Malaysia for life by this year

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