According to the 2015 National Health and Morbidity Survey, nearly one in four Malaysians is a smoker. To make matters worse, a large chunk of the working population are smokers.
According to the National Health and Morbidity Survey, approximately 22.8% of all Malaysians aged 15 and above are smokers. That adds up to 4.9 million people. Of this 4.9 million smokers, 4.85 million are men and 143,566 are women.
This is a health problem that undoubtedly also becomes an economic concern. If more working people smoke, more of these productive people who are vital to their organisations and the workplace will be facing increasingly severe health issues. This will mean loss in productivity, and thus loss in monetary returns.
It’s an issue that is serious enough to get the Ministry of Health to act. To address the addiction to tobacco, it recently launched an initiative dubbed “Smoke Free Workforce”, with hopes to “bring together CEOs and industry leaders from top corporations to lead and rally for a smoke-free workforce”, which is in line with the country’s own agenda in creating a smoke-free generation by 2045.
Today, of all those who smoke, 20.5% do so daily.