“7124 Participants: a study of adult vapers and e-cigarette usage in Malaysia” is the largest cross-sectional survey of adult electronic cigarette users living in Malaysia yet carried out, with more than 7,000 participants.
Among the findings of this uniquely widespread investigation are:
a very large proportion of Malaysian vapers are using e-cigarettes to quit or reduce smoking;
more than 80 percent of respondents report improvements in “general physical status” as a result of switching (partially or completely) to vaping;
almost all have come from smoking tobacco (and fewer than one percent have not been tobacco users previously);
almost all respondents support age-of-sale restrictions to prevent youth from vaping.
The study was conducted online, with a questionnaire uploaded to a survey website (SurveyMonkey). It was available in both Malay and English and was constructed based on previous experience from the largest online survey of electronic cigarette users and from the recent Eurobarometer survey of the European Union.
Participants came from online social media, Malaysian vapers’ associations, online and physical electronic cigarette shops; current, former and never smokers were eligible to participate and were included in the analysis. The survey was anonymous – no personal details were asked or collected. Average age of respondents was 30.
The study’s author, Dr Konstantinos Farsalinos, is based in Greece. he said: “Having collaborated to produce a global survey of vaping a couple of years ago, I knowDr Farsalinos is one of the world’s leading cardiologists. Speaking in Kuala Lumpur, where he was presenting the findings, there is a lack of data from the Asia region, and I was keen to help fill that gap.
“I have been interested in the community in Malaysia for some time and it is a good place to conduct such a study because it is an open society with a quite sophisticated adult consumer base,” said Dr Farsalinos.
“This study was funded by donations via crowdfunding and is, as far as I know, the biggest survey of vapers ever undertaken in the region. The results show that Malaysian vapers are essentially the same as those elsewhere; they have used e-cigarettes to successfully stop or reduce smoking, their physical state has improved since they started, they support a ban on availability of e-cigarettes to youth, and they would not be likely to return to smoking as long as they remain able to vape.”