Perceived safety and effectiveness of electronic cigarettes among Malaysian adults and public support for regulations
Samsul Draman1, Norny Syafinaz Ab Rahman2, Mohamad Haniki Nik Mohamed2, Jamalludin Ab Rahman3, Mira Kartiwi4
1 Department of Family Medicine, Kulliyyah of Medicine, International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM), Kuantan, Malaysia
2 Department of Pharmacy Practice, Kulliyyah of Pharmacy, International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM), Kuantan, Malaysia
3 Department of Community Medicine, Kulliyyah of Medicine, International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM), Kuantan, Malaysia
4 Department of Information System, Kulliyyah of Information, Communication and Technology, International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM), Gombak, Malaysia
Dr. Norny Syafinaz Ab Rahman
Department of Pharmacy Practice, Kulliyyah of Pharmacy, International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM), Jalan Sultan Ahmad Shah, Bandar Indera Mahkota, Kuantan, Pahang.
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
Context: Electronic cigarettes have been used as a harm reduction method toward tobacco cessation. Malaysian government has enforced a strict policy to regulate the sale of electronic cigarette products because its liquid contains nicotine. Aims: This study aimed to explore the general public’s perception toward electronic cigarette use. Public support toward electronic cigarette regulation was also examined. Settings and Design: This was a Malaysian population-based survey. Materials and Methods: Data were obtained from the National E-Cigarette Survey (NECS) 2016, which used a multistage stratified cluster sampling household survey representing all Malaysian adults aged 18 years old. A cross-sectional survey was conducted among a total of 4288 adults. Statistical Analysis Used: Descriptive and logistic regression analysis. Results: Majority were aged 25–44 years old (44%), completed at least secondary education (69%), of Malay ethnicity (73%), and married (68%). Majority (88.1%) have never used electronic cigarette. A quarter (25.5%) perceived electronic cigarette helps people quit cigarette smoking, whereas 20.3% perceived electronic cigarette helps people to maintain cigarette abstinence. Approximately 85% believed that electronic cigarette use does not help in improving breathing and coughing. Majority (91.8%) disagreed that electronic cigarettes should be allowed in places where tobacco smoking is banned. Thus, 63.4% agreed that electronic cigarette should be banned completely rather than regulated. Conclusion: Majority of general public had negative perception about electronic cigarette use.