Vaping as means to quit smoking prevalent in Malaysia

Studies on the use of e-cigarettes have so far highlighted that vaping is not risk-free but significantly less harmful compared to smoking cigarettes

by AUFA MARDHIAH / pic by AFP

FORTY-NINE percent of Malaysian smokers have turned to vape as a means to cut down or quit smoking cigarettes or quit completely.

Health Diplomats president and CEO Dr Delon Human said the findings came out consistent with mounting scientific evidence that vaping is preferred by smokers and effective to help them kick the habit.

Moreover, 52% of Malaysian smokers perceive vaping to be less harmful than smoking cigarettes, 86% want vaping to be made available to smokers as a less harmful product and 90% believe that vaping should be actively promoted as a less harmful alternative to smoking cigarettes.

“Studies on the use of e-cigarettes have so far highlighted that vaping is not risk-free but significantly less harmful compared to smoking cigarettes. Interestingly, the rate of Malaysian smokers understanding this fact is high compared to other countries.

– Infographic by Health Diplomats

“In the UK, only 29% of smokers believed vaping was less harmful than smoking, despite the country adopting a harm reduction approach in encouraging cigarette smokers to switch to vaping,” he said in a statement today.

In Malaysia, 60% of the respondents have concerns that vaping products are not regulated with the majority believing it should be regulated as a consumer product instead of a medicinal product and should be dispensed by medical practitioners.

Additionally, 81% believe regulations must be put in place to ensure the products are not defective and meet quality standards and are not sold to minors.

Dr Human also agreed that in Malaysia, vaping portrays great potential to help the government reduce smoking prevalence as it is a popular tool used by smokers to reduce and quit smoking.

“As Malaysia stands on the cusp of introducing laws to regulate vaping products, it is important to strike a balance to ensure measures do not obstruct smokers switching from smoking to less harmful alternatives and ensuring products are not used by those who are underage and non-smokers.

“A risk-proportionate regulation is an appropriate way to strike this balance by imposing the right controls in place, as well as taking into account the potential it has to help reduce smoking prevalence in Malaysia,” he concluded.