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E-cigarette usage may lead to various chronic diseases

BENTONG, Jan 20 (Bernama) -- The sale of electronic cigarettes or e-cigarettes is a double-edged sword.

While the e-cigarette is purportedly aimed at helping smokers to kick the habit, it is not only illegal but could also expose the user to various chronic diseases.

Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said the sale of e-cigarettes was an offence under the Poisons Act 1952 and the Control of Drugs and Cosmetics Regulations 1984.

He said those found guilty of selling and distributing the product and liquid nicotine for use in electronic cigarettes could be fined, not more than RN3,000 or jailed not more than two years, or both.

He was speaking to reporters after presenting certificates to 353 students who obtained outstanding results in the Ujian Penilaian Sekolah Rendah (UPSR) and Penilaian Menengah Rendah (PMR) from the Bentong parliamentary constituency here today.

Liow said it was difficult to control the sale of e-cigarettes as the public could purchase them online.

"The e-cigarettes are purportedly aimed at helping smokers to kick the habit gradually, but users are unaware that using the product could lead to other chronic diseases," he said.

In another development, the Bentong member of parliament said the government had provided a large allocation under the 2013 Budget to ensure better and healthier living.

He said it would be in vain if the country achieved developed nation status by 2020, and the people obtained high income, if they were unhealthy and were afflicted with various chronic diseases.

"Such a situation will, in the end, cause national productivity and economy to slide.

"We hope the people will adopt a healthy lifestyle by doing at least 20 minutes of exercise daily, and stay away from unhealthy habits such as smoking," added Liow.



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