600% increase in e-cigarette users in Malaysia over 12 years, survey finds

PUTRAJAYA: There has been an increase of 600% in the number of e-cigarette users in the country over the past 12 years, according to the Global Adult Tobacco Survey 2023.

The study pointed out that the prevalence of e-cigarette or vape use among those in the 15-24 age group increased from 1.1% in 2011 to 8.6% last year.

"There has been a surge in e-cigarette use in Malaysia. Around 5.8% are users in 2023, compared to 0.8% in 2011, which is more than a 600% increase," it said.

The study also found that overall, 68.1% of adults had ever heard of e-cigarettes, 8.9% (10.5% of men and 0.8% of women) had used them, while 5.8% of adults currently used the devices.

These were among the key findings of the survey, released during the launching of the findings of the National Health and Morbidity Survey 2023 and the Global Adult Tobacco Survey Malaysia 2023 here on Thursday (May 16).

It also found that smoking cessation and healthcare behaviour among adults who currently smoked and those who made attempts to quit in the last 12 months have remained stagnant.

However, the study also found that exposure to tobacco smoke in homes, workplaces and public transportation significantly declined from 2011 to 2023.

A total of 4.8 million adults in the country smoke tobacco while a total of 3.7 million (14.6%) adults smoke daily.

The survey also said that although the prevalence of adults who currently smoked significantly declined from 2011 to 2023, more efforts must be made to tackle other tobacco use-related challenges, mainly secondhand smoke exposure, the cost of cigarettes, and the increased use of e-cigarettes.

The survey enables countries to collect data on tobacco use and key tobacco control measures.

The one in Malaysia involved respondents aged 15 and above nationwide.

A total of 5,780 households were randomly selected to represent urban and rural areas.

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