KUALA LUMPUR, July 22 ― A viral video reportedly showing three children from SK Pekan Papar in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah mimicking the act of smoking using a packet of vape-like candy has raised concerns from the Malaysian Community Concerns Foundation (MCCF) and authorities.
The matter recently came to light by a school teacher, Mohd Fadli Salleh, who posted the video on Facebook.
It is learned that the powdered candy, marketed as “Ghost Smoke Candy”, is consumed by sucking on a straw to produce a smoke-like effect, resembling a vape.
Mohd Fadli voiced out his concerns by saying that the vaping phenomenon was starting to hit Malaysia and sellers were now looking at young schoolchildren in Standard 1 and 2.
“I am worried that they will slowly move on to pick up smoking or vaping soon,” he said.
He also highlighted that these candies were easily available in shops and online for as cheap as RM10 for 30 packets.
The MCCF also urged the government to take immediate action including prohibiting the sale of such candies which is seen to have a negative impact on children.
Its chairman Halim Ishak said in a statement that the sale of such products was alarming and might influence children to act more "courageously" when it came to smoking.
He added that the authorities must take more stringent action to ensure that the candy was withdrawn from the market.
Halim also advised the parents to pay more attention to their children to stop them from getting involved in such activities.
Earlier, SK Bukit Kerayong took to Facebook to reveal that they found primary school kids carrying vape after they conducted spot checks at the school.
“After further investigation, it was found that former students and adults were responsible for introducing them to the substance for as cheap as RM50,” it reads.
In an immediate reaction, the Education Ministry said in a statement that would work with the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry to curb sales of prohibited substances especially to schoolchildren.
The Education Ministry also confirmed that its monitoring revealed that the sale of such materials took place outside the school area.
The Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry also said it would take appropriate measures to highlight the dangers of using prohibited substances from a health standpoint.