E-cigarette prevalence among Malaysian adults and types and flavors of e-cigarette products used by cigarette smokers who vape: Findings from the 2020 ITC Malaysia Survey

Pete Driezen, Amer Siddiq Amer Nordin, Farizah Mohd Hairi, Anne Yee, Nur Amani Ahmad Tajuddin, Siti Idayu Hasan, Mahmoud Danaee, Ina Sharyn Kamaludin, Susan C. Kaai, Mi Yan, Matthew Grey, Anne C.K. Quah, Mary E. Thompson, Geoffrey T. Fong

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INTRODUCTION E-cigarettes (ECs) have become increasingly common in many countries, including Malaysia. The prevalence of EC use increased in Malaysia from 0.8% in 2011 to 4.9% in 2019. Three quarters of Malaysian EC users also smoke combustible cigarettes, and the prevalence of EC use among Malaysian smokers in 2014 was consistent with the prevalence of use among smokers from Canada and the US in 2016. The purpose of this study was to estimate the prevalence of EC use among Malaysian adults aged ≥18 years in 2020 and the types of EC products and flavors used by cigarette smokers who also used ECs at least monthly. METHODS Data came from 1253 adults aged ≥18 years who participated in the 2020 International Tobacco Control Malaysia Wave 1 Survey. Weighted descriptive statistics were used to estimate the prevalence of adults who reported ever using ECs and the prevalence who used ECs either monthly, weekly, or daily. The types of EC products and flavors used were compared by frequency of EC use among current smokers who used ECs at least monthly (n=459). RESULTS Overall, 5.4% (95% CI: 3.7–7.5) of Malaysian adults reported using ECs on a daily basis in 2020. Among current cigarette smokers who used ECs daily, 81.0% (95% CI: 72.5–87.7) used nicotine in their ECs, 46.2% (95% CI: 37.8–54.7) used pre-filled ECs, and 60.4% (95% CI: 51.9–68.6) reported being somewhat/very addicted to ECs. The most common EC flavors were fruit, coffee, and menthol/ mint. CONCLUSIONS Continued surveillance of EC use is necessary to monitor EC use in non-tobacco using populations while longitudinal research is needed to determine the extent to which ECs are, or are not, related to quitting smoking.

Original languageEnglish
Article number32
Number of pages7
JournalTobacco Induced Diseases
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • e-cigarettes
  • flavors
  • Malaysia
  • nicotine
  • prevalence

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