Date: July 2020
Author: Inspector Z

Malaysia bans online tobacco sales. Today all Malaysian retailers were informed by the Ministry of Health that websites need to be offline. Retailers get two days to comply with the new regulations. If a retailer does not comply, they can get fined RM 10.000 (2070) EUR and up to two years in jail. 

Redframe Management

A company called Redframe Management & Resources was fined RM 2500 on July 1st, or a one-year jail term for the owner of the company. Selling tobacco products online is a violation of Rule 10A (1) of the Control of Tobacco Products Regulations 2004. Even though the ban is in place since 2004, it was never enforced. Almost all Malaysian retailers sell tobacco through online stores. 

Health director-general Datuk Dr. Noor Hisham Abdullah in a statement “Selling online is not only against the regulations, but it has thwarted the government’s intention to restrict the availability of tobacco products, especially among the youth under 18” Regulation 10A (1) states that, “No person shall sell or offer for sale any tobacco products online.”

Dr. Noor Hisham said the selling of tobacco products online should be controlled so that the public, especially teenagers, cannot buy or possess tobacco products easily and make room for cigarette availability which makes smoking prevalence among adolescents. Again cigars fall victim to the fight against cigarettes. How many teenagers smoke, or even can afford cigars?

More legislation

Another part of the Malaysian tobacco law says “To ensure that points of sale of tobacco products do not have any promotional elements, Parties should introduce a total ban on any display and on the visibility of tobacco products at points of sale, including fixed retail outlets and street vendors. Only the textual listing of products and their prices, without any promotional elements, would be allowed. As for all aspects of Article 13 of the Convention, the ban should also apply in ferries, airplanes, ports, and airports. 

Last year, Malaysia already implemented a smoking ban at coffee shops, food courts, hawker centers, and restaurants. Yet Malaysia is one of the biggest and most vibrant markets for cigars in South East Asia. There are many cigar lounges in Kuala Lumpur and surrounding areas. Ministry of Cigars visited many of them for our Vibrant Cigar Scene of Kuala Lumpur part 1 and part 2. The Philip & Ferdy Cigar Show recorded a few episodes in Kuala Lumpur as well. At Cigar Malaysia, Cohiba Atmosphere, Cigar Bar KL, The Cabinet, and Cigars Lounge.

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