The of transmitting communicable diseases. Apart from that,
The Malaysian government ratified the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control in 2005, committing itself to implement strong tobacco control policies.
The rules and regulations stipulated by the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) apply to all tobacco products and not only cigarettes. 168 Parties from various states, representing 86. 44% of the world’s population are now Parties to the Convention. Consequently when Articles 10 and 11 call upon countries to regulate tobacco products, that regulation will include tobacco consumed by use of the waterpipe.The regulation of tobacco products includes health warnings, information about contents and emissions, as well as packaging and labelling. All these elements and others indicated in Articles 10 and 11 of the WHO FCTC are pertinent to the waterpipe as they are to all methods of tobacco consumption. In Malaysia, shisha smoking is a popular new trend among young people.
There are shisha cafes and lounges appearing across the province, many of them situated in towns and cities with a university or college.Smoking rates among young adults are already too high, and the attraction of smoking exotic flavoured shisha, coupled with the belief that it is relatively benign, can only force smoking rates even higher. As well, there are currently no public health requirements for hookah bars, despite the fact that sharing hoses poses a real risk of transmitting communicable diseases.
Apart from that, employees and patrons at hookah bars are being exposed to second-hand smoke which is damaging to public health.Smoking in public places also undermines efforts to enforce the Malaysian Smoke-Free Air Law, as well as generally erodes public confidence in the rule of law. In addition, poorly labeled shisha products are widely available at retail. These consumer products, which lack required health warnings, tax stamps, ingredient lists and other information such as nicotine content, leave Malaysians totally in the dark regarding product safety. The lack of appropriate/required tax stamps likewise leaves governments short on entitled revenues.
There are several promising policy options to address this emerging public health issue. Public health advocates, policy makers, enforcement officers and other stakeholders at all levels of government need to come together to examine possible options and determine the optimum course to pursue. Urgent action is required to halt the rapid spread of waterpipe smoking and thus to protect the health of our young people. By referring to the problems given, there should be specific law in Malaysia that governs the selling of shisha.In Malaysia, problem arises in the Control of Tobacco Product (Amendment) Regulations (CTPR) 2008 and National Kenaf and Tobacco Board Act 2009 is that the definition of shisha or waterpipe smoking is not included in the definition of smoking. As a result, some shisha retailers in Malaysia believe that it is not possible to lay charges under section 2 of with Control of Tobacco Product (Amendment) Regulations (CTPR) 2008 and National Kenaf and Tobacco Board Act 2009 with respect to tobacco shisha.
If the enforcement officers confident that the shisha in question contains tobacco, the proprietor can be charged under section 4 of Control of Tobacco Product (Amendment) Regulations (CTPR) 2008 with a lack of a proper health warning and/or improperly packaged tobacco (in the case of tobacco shisha being stored in plastic containers at hookah bars). Similarly, if a enforcement officers is confident that the shisha in question contains tobacco, section 11 of Control of Tobacco Product Regulations 2004 can also be enforced regarding the smoking of tobacco in a public place or workplace.However, because of the confusion regarding the enforceability of Section 2 in including shisha, clarification and co-operation from National Kenaf and Tobacco Board and the Ministry of Health Malaysia on this point is needed to support and improve provincial enforcement efforts. Furthermore, both of the regulations mention before also regulates the manufacture, sale, labeling and promotion of tobacco products in Malaysia.Although tobacco shisha may falls under the act’s broad definition of a tobacco product, it is not mentioned explicitly in either the act or the regulations. The absence of a definition of waterpipe pipe tobacco in either the Act or the regulations has left people wondering if they apply to tobacco shisha.
Ministry of Health Malaysia should enforce this law, clearly communicating to stakeholders that waterpipe tobacco is recognized as pipe tobacco. Enforcement could focus on lack of proper health warnings and required consumer information in English and Malay on the packaging.Clarification and co-operation from Ministry of Health Malaysia on these points will also improve provincial enforcement efforts. Confusion on the part of enforcement officers in Malaysia regarding the applicability of the Act to tobacco shisha translates into missed opportunities for enforcement.
Regarding the absence of a definition of waterpipe tobacco in Malaysia, a broad definition of smoking would protect public health by preventing employees and patrons from being exposed to second-hand smoke of any kind.It would also improve enforcement efforts, as the enforcement officers currently cannot lay charges unless they can prove that shisha is included in definition of tobacco products and it is being smoked. For example, in other countries such as Illinois and New Jersey , both of the states have state laws with a broad definition of smoking. The New Jersey Smoke-Free Air Act (2006) states: “Smoking means the burning of, inhaling from, exhaling the smoke from, or the possession of a lighted cigar, cigarette, pipe or any other matter or substance which contains tobacco or any other matter that can be smoked..
. There are several promising policy options to address this emerging public health issue. Public health advocates, policy makers, enforcement officers and other stakeholders at all levels of government need to come together to examine possible options and determine the optimum course to pursue.
Urgent action is required to halt the rapid spread of waterpipe smoking and thus to protect the health of our young people.