Awareness and Current Use of Electronic Cigarettes in Indonesia, Malaysia, Qatar, and Greece: Findings From 2011-2013 Global Adult Tobacco Surveys

Nicotine Tob Res. 2016 Apr;18(4):501-7. doi: 10.1093/ntr/ntv081. Epub 2015 Apr 20.


Introduction: Increases in electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) awareness and current use have been documented in high income countries but less is known about middle and low income countries.

Methods: Nationally representative household survey data from the first four Global Adult Tobacco Surveys to assess e-cigarettes were analyzed, including Indonesia (2011), Malaysia (2011), Qatar (2013), and Greece (2013). Correlates of e-cigarette awareness and current use were calculated. Sample sizes for Greece and Qatar allowed for further analysis of e-cigarette users.

Results: Awareness of e-cigarettes was 10.9% in Indonesia, 21.0% in Malaysia, 49.0% in Qatar, and 88.5% in Greece. In all four countries, awareness was higher among male, younger, more educated, and wealthier respondents. Current e-cigarette use among those aware of e-cigarettes was 3.9% in Malaysia, 2.5% in Indonesia, 2.2% in Greece and 1.8% in Qatar. Across these four countries, an estimated 818 500 people are currently using e-cigarettes. Among current e-cigarette users, 64.4% in Greece and 84.1% in Qatar also smoked cigarettes, and, 10.6% in Greece and 6.0% in Qatar were never-smokers.

Conclusions: E-cigarette awareness and use was evident in all four countries. Ongoing surveillance and monitoring of awareness and use of e-cigarettes in these and other countries could help inform tobacco control policies and public health interventions. Future surveillance should monitor use of e-cigarettes among current smokers and uptake among never-smokers and relapsing former smokers.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Awareness*
  • Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems / statistics & numerical data
  • Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems / trends*
  • Female
  • Greece / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Indonesia / epidemiology
  • Malaysia / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Public Health / trends
  • Qatar / epidemiology
  • Smoking / epidemiology*
  • Smoking / trends*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires*
  • Tobacco
  • Tobacco Use Disorder / diagnosis
  • Tobacco Use Disorder / epidemiology
  • Young Adult