Introduction: Electronic cigarettes (ECs) are new devices that have been accepted widely by both smokers and non-smokers. However, the evidence on EC used in Malaysia is scarce. The objective of this study was to determine the prevalence of EC use and the socio-demographic and smoking characteristics associated with current EC use among Malaysian current and ex-smokers.
Methods: This was a sub-analysis of data from a cross-sectional, national-population- based EC study conducted from May to June in 2016 in Malaysia. A detailed description of the sampling methods can be found in the National E-cigarette Survey (NECS) 2016 report. Briefly, data were obtained from 1396 individuals who had ever been smokers, i.e., 957 (68.6%) current smokers and 439 (31.4%) ex-smokers.
Results: Current EC use was found predominantly among current smokers (8.0%) as compared with ex-smokers (4.3%). Among current smokers, the main reasons given for smoking ECs were wanting to try it (44.7%), followed by intention to quit tobacco smoking (15.8%) and to reduce tobacco smoking (10.5%). Using multiple logistic regression analysis, we found that among current smokers, current EC users were more likely to be younger, i.e., 18-44 years (aOR= 4.83, 95% CI= 1.97-11.86, p=0.001), urban residents (aOR= 1.89, 95% CI= 1.15-3.11, p=0.012), single/ divorced/ widowed (aOR= 2.11, 95% CI= 1.24-3.61, p=0.006) and students (aOR= 2.25, 95% CI= 1.01-5.01, p=0.048). Among exsmokers, only younger respondents (18-44 years old) was reported as being more likely to be current EC users (aOR= 3.81, 95% CI= 1.14-12.76, p=0.030).
Conclusion: This study showed that currently using and ever having used ECs were more prevalent among current smokers. The reasons given for initiating EC use among current smokers were mainly wanting to try it, followed by intention to quit and to reduce tobacco smoking. Current EC use appears to be common among current smokers who are younger, urban residents, single/divorced/widowed and students. Therefore, EC cessation intervention strategies and policies should target these high-prevalence groups.
© Academy of Family Physicians of Malaysia.
Use of E-Cigarettes Among Current Smokers: Associations Among Reasons for Use, Quit Intentions, and Current Tobacco Use.Nicotine Tob Res. 2015 Oct;17(10):1228-34. doi: 10.1093/ntr/ntv003. Epub 2015 Jan 14. Nicotine Tob Res. 2015. PMID: 25589678 Free PMC article.
Determinants and prevalence of e-cigarette use throughout the European Union: a secondary analysis of 26 566 youth and adults from 27 Countries.Tob Control. 2015 Sep;24(5):442-8. doi: 10.1136/tobaccocontrol-2013-051394. Epub 2014 Jun 16. Tob Control. 2015. PMID: 24935441
Prevalence and characteristics of e-cigarette users in Great Britain: Findings from a general population survey of smokers.Addict Behav. 2014 Jun;39(6):1120-5. doi: 10.1016/j.addbeh.2014.03.009. Epub 2014 Mar 12. Addict Behav. 2014. PMID: 24679611 Free PMC article.
Electronic cigarettes for smoking cessation and reduction.Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2014;(12):CD010216. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD010216.pub2. Epub 2014 Dec 17. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2014. PMID: 25515689 Review.
Electronic cigarettes for smoking cessation.Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2016 Sep 14;9(9):CD010216. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD010216.pub3. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2016. PMID: 27622384 Free PMC article. Review.