According to foreign reports, a new survey of smokers in Malaysia shows that nearly half or 49% of them choose to use e-cigarettes to reduce smoking or quit smoking completely.
The survey, conducted by international research agency Kantar Group in late 2021, outlines Malaysia’s use and attitudes towards e-cigarettes, tobacco products and cigarettes, and interviewed 500 people in the country.
“This appears to be consistent with a growing body of scientific evidence that smokers prefer vaping and can be effective in helping them quit the habit,” said Dr. Delon Human, President and CEO of Health Diplomats.
“The evidence available to date suggests that most smokers want to quit. For example, in the UK, around two-thirds of smokers, regardless of their social group, want to quit, and vaping has become the preferred method of quitting smoking. .”He says.
The survey also found that 52% of Malaysian smokers believe that vaping is less harmful than smoking.
On this basis, 86% said that e-cigarettes should be offered to smokers as a less harmful product, and 90% believed that e-cigarettes should be actively promoted as a less harmful alternative to smoking.
“Research on e-cigarette use shows that vaping is not without risks, but it is much less harmful than smoking. Interestingly, Malaysian smokers are highly aware of this fact compared to other countries.” He says.
For example, Public Health England 2021 reviewed the evidence and noted that despite the UK’s harm reduction approach to encourage smokers to switch to e-cigarettes, only 29% of UK smokers believe e-cigarettes are less harmful than smoking, Dr Delong said. Say.
The survey also assessed Malaysians’ perceptions of regulation and found that 60 per cent were concerned that vaping products were not regulated.
Most of them support the regulation of e-cigarettes and believe they should be regulated as a consumer product rather than a medicinal product and should be dispensed by doctors.
At the same time, an overwhelming 81% believe regulations must be in place to ensure that products are defect-free, meet product and quality standards, and are not sold to minors or underage children.
“This study shows that e-cigarettes in Malaysia have great potential to help the government reduce smoking rates as it is a popular tool used by smokers to reduce and quit smoking.”
“As Malaysia is on the cusp of introducing laws to regulate vaping products, it is important to strike a balance to ensure that measures do not discourage smokers from switching to less harmful alternatives, and that minors and non-smokers do not Use of the product.”
Dr Delong said: Risk-proportionate regulation is the appropriate way to strike this balance by implementing the right controls and taking into account its potential to help reduce smoking rates in Malaysia.