NUTP calls on govt to expedite approval of anti-smoking bill

KUALA LUMPUR: The National Union of the Teaching Profession (NUTP) has called on the government to expedite the presentation and approval of the Smoking Product Control Bill for Public Health 2023.

Its president, Aminuddin Awang said the delay and postponement of this bill were disappointing.

"NUTP takes the problem of smoking seriously, especially the use of vaping among school students, which has worsened recently.

"From our observations, primary school students have also started to get into the habit of smoking, especially using vaping," he said in a statement today.

Based on the National Health and Morbidity Survey in 2022, a total of 307,109 teenagers between the ages of 13 and 17 have used vaping.

Aminuddin said exposure to nicotine poison at a young age can cause disruption to a child's brain and emotional development, affecting their learning at school.

He mentioned as a result, the learning process and the productivity of the students are affected because they always skip classes due to health problems caused by smoking habits.

Further commenting, he said a more dynamic and holistic approach is needed by all parties, including the Education Ministry, Women, Family and Community Development Ministry and Youth and Sports Ministry.

Apart from ministries, government agencies also play an important role in ensuring smoking products are not easily obtained by children when they leave school.

"As an educator, NUTP urges that strict control over the promotion and sale of vaping be implemented immediately.

"This is to ensure that school students do not have arbitrary access to smoking products that contain nicotine and cause effects on the user," he said.

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