Vape advocates claim almost all consumers disagree with generational tobacco ban, say seven in 10 may switch to unregulated products

Malay Mail
Malay Mail

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 30 — A group calling itself Malaysian Vapers Alliance (MVA) today claimed that its survey found that almost all respondents were opposed to the generational end game (GEG) that would ban tobacco consumption by those born after 2007.

In a statement, its president Khairil Azizi Khairuddin said that based on the results, it is inaccurate for the GEG to equate smoking cigarettes with vaping as it may deter smokers from transitioning to the latter in a bid to quit.

“Based on the feedback that we received, it is clear that Malaysian vape users want regulations, but are concerned that the GEG policy will risk long-term negative consequences. This is further reiterated in our survey results, which revealed that 96.6 per cent of respondents do not agree with GEG,” he said.

“Further, 84 per cent of those surveyed said they support vape regulations that are differentiated from cigarettes, with 75.8 per cent confirming they understand the concept of tobacco harm reduction (THR). This is an important finding as it reaffirms the big potential that vaping has to help smokers quit smoking by switching to less harmful products."

The group said it recently held a tour to engage with around 5,000 adult vape users, with the survey involving 708 respondents. It did not provide its methodology for the survey, nor the breakdown of the respondents.

It also said its survey found that 73.7 per cent of those who vape are ex-smokers, with 80.1 per cent switching to vape as it helped them quit smoking.

The survey also found that vapers primarily used nicotine-based e-liquids (76.1 per cent) with a nicotine level of up to 40mg per ml (96.1 per cent) — with 53 per cent of respondents preferring fruit-flavoured liquids.

It also found that those who purchase disposable vapes preferred products with more than 10ml e-liquids (producing more than 5,000 puffs) (29.9 per cent), compared to smaller capacity of 2 to 4ml (600 to 1,200 puffs) (38.2 per cent).

“A very concerning finding was that 66.9 per cent of vapers would turn to unregulated products if regulations were not in line with their consumption habits. This means that regulations must not only be comprehensive, but also in sync with consumer behaviour.

"For example, newer innovations such as disposable vape, must be included when regulations are introduced. Nicotine levels, and availability of flavour, must also be aligned with consumer consumption,” Khairil said.

In June, the Ministry of Health said it decided to refer the Control of Smoking Products for Public Health Bill 2023 to the Parliamentary Select Committee on Health for further review.

It also said that it will study the proposal that the control of the use of cigarettes and electronic cigarettes be carried out simultaneously through the GEG policy.