Malaysia Smoking Rate Dips Slightly As E-Cigarette Use Rises: Survey

Prevalence of current tobacco smokers is about 21%, while e-cigarette prevalence is 5%, according to NHMS 2019.

KUALA LUMPUR, May 29 — The prevalence of current smokers in Malaysia has dropped marginally by 1.5 percentage points to 21.3 per cent in 2019, a survey found.

According to the Ministry of Health’s (MOH) National Health and Morbidity Survey (NHMS) 2019, however, 5 per cent of Malaysians used e-cigarettes last year, which an MOH official described at the launch of the survey today as an increase.

The NHMS 2015 survey found that a 22.8 per cent prevalence of current tobacco smokers that year, a slight reduction from 23.1 per cent reported in the Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS) 2011.

It is unclear if the minimal drop in tobacco smokers was caused by a switch to e-cigarettes or vaping products.

According to the NHMS 2019, one in two people reported exposure to second-hand smoke at eateries without air-conditioning.

The most common area where people were exposed to second-hand smoke was at home at 31 per cent, followed by the workplace (27 per cent), and air-conditioned eateries (9 per cent).

Malaysia has yet to regulate e-cigarettes and vaping products.

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