Different rules on vape needed to encourage smokers to switch to less harmful products

THE Malaysian Vapers Alliance (MVA), a local vape consumer advocacy group, has urged the Health Ministry (MoH) and the government to regulate the vape industry while at the same time remove the Generation End Game (GEG) policy after engaging with almost 5,000 adult vape users.

These comments come following MVA’s on-the-ground tour which saw the group travelling across Malaysia to gather insights on the behaviour and consumption patterns on Malaysian vapers. Amidst these engagements, MVA also conducted a survey which garnered 708 respondents.

“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% respondents do not agree with GEG,” commented MVA’s president Khairil Azizi Khairuddin.

“Further, 84% of those surveyed said they support vape regulations that are differentiated from cigarettes with 75.8% confirming they understand the concept of tobacco harm reduction (THR).”

This, according to Khairil, is an important finding as it reaffirms the big potential that vape has to help smokers quit smoking by switching to less harmful product.

“To ensure consumer safety and encourage responsible adoption, regulations must be tailored to acknowledge the relative harm reduction benefits of vaping over smoking,” he stressed.

Other findings from the survey include:

  • 7% vapers are ex-smokers with 80.1% switching to vape as it helped them quit smoking;
  • 8% believe cigarette smokers should be educated on tobacco harm reduction;
  • 8% vapers prefer an open or closed system, 26.4% prefer disposable vape, 25.8% interchange their products;
  • Vapers who purchase disposable vape prefer products with more than 10ml e-liquids (more than 5,000 puffs) (29.9%) and between 2ml and 4ml e-liquids (600–1,200 puffs) (38.2%);
  • Vapers primarily use nicotine-based e-liquids (76.1%) with a nicotine level of up to 40mg per ml (96.1%);
  • 53% prefer fruit flavoured e-liquids.

Last but not least, Khairil also revealed a very concerning finding that 66.9% vapers would turn to unregulated products if regulations are 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,” he cautioned.

“Nicotine levels and availability of flavour must also be aligned with consumer consumption.” – Aug 30, 2023

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