Shariffuddin Bujang, the CEO of NCIG (M) Sdn Bhd announced that the company will be phasing out its operations in Malaysia over the next three months. He made the shock announcement immediately after launching the company’s revolutionary new smoking cessation system – the NCIG Total Solution – at the NSummit2 in Seri Kembangan, Selangor, Malaysia today.
Shariffuddin said the decision was not made lightly as it would impact hundreds of NCIG personnel in Malaysia. He said until Malaysia introduces regulations on nicotine in e-cigarettes, it will remain a barrier for NCIG’s core mission to help the country’s 8 million smokers quit their addiction to smoking cigarettes.
“Pending legislation, NCIG will only market a zero nicotine variant of the NCIG Total Solution for the local market as part of phasing out are operations here. Our plans are underway to shut down our operations in Malaysia, and we will redirect our investments and focus on overseas markets where nicotine e-cigarettes have already been successfully regulated, specifically the United Kingdom and Indonesia,” said Shariffuddin.
Shariffuddin said zero-nicotine e-liquid was not a long-term solution for Malaysia as it would only prove to be a gateway for non-smokers to start vaping. Instead, NCIG proposes for zero-nicotine e-liquid to be used as the final stage in the nicotine cessation treatment. However due to current laws, NCIG could only introduce e-liquids which do not contain nicotine in Malaysia.
With regards to the future of the vape industry in Malaysia, he said that should it be outlawed entirely by the authorities, there will be a wide-reaching impact on other local businesses. Malaysia’s vape products are considered premium in the international market because of its high-quality Vegetable Glycerin content, derived from locally sourced palm oil.
“We estimate that over 100,000 tonnes of VG is used by local vape producers per annum, and it is the secret of the success of Malaysian vape brands internationally, making us the second largest e-liquid producer in the world, second only to the USA,” said Shariffuddin.
He added that the creative industry would also be impacted as vape companies use many local talent and businesses for design and advertising, packaging, as well as heavily investing in merchandising products for promotions – all of which are sourced locally.
The local vape industry in Malaysia is also predominantly made up of independent Bumiputera operators, many of whom export the majority of their products overseas and employs up to 30,000 local workers.
NSummit2 – NCIG Total Solution
The NSummit2 held at the Mines International Exhibition & Convention Centre was attended by over 6000 visitors, including prominent local entrepreneurs and representatives from the government.
The event opened with an international panel discussion on ‘Vaping from a Global Perspective’ featuring Prof. Dr. Sharifa Ezat Wan Puteh from PPUKM, Dr. Arifandi Sanjaya, a physician from Indonesia, and Assoc. Prof. Dr Konstantinos Poulas, an expert from the University of Patras in Greece.
“NCIG’s mission has always been clear from day one – to improve the quality of life for smokers and their families by putting an end to cigarette addiction forever. We are not simply a ‘vape company.’ We are in the business of helping smokers quit their addiction effectively san safely,” said Shariffuddin in his keynote speech.
Since its launch, NCIG has helped over 170,000 smokers change their lives by introducing an effective alternative to help them quit smoking cigarettes. NCIG aims to become a global solutions provider of choice for the effective treatment of cigarette addiction.
The zero-nicotine variant of the five new brands under the NCIG Total Solution – namely Blanc, Nativ, Nine, Clov and Vaperatif – will be released for the Malaysian market in late November 2019. It will be available for purchase online via the company’s official website www.ncig.com and at Nstores across the Klang Valley, Kota Bharu, as well as through registered NCIG agents.