Journal of Community Health

, Volume 42, Issue 6, pp 1225–1232 | Cite as

E-Cigarette Users’ Attitudes on the Banning of Sales of Nicotine E-Liquid, Its Implication on E-Cigarette Use Behaviours and Alternative Sources of Nicotine E-Liquid

  • Li Ping Wong
  • Haridah Alias
  • Nasrin Agha Mohammadi
  • Azadeh Ghadimi
  • Victor Chee Wai Hoe
Original Paper

Abstract

The banning of sales of nicotine e-liquid in e-cigarette shops has been implemented in several states in Malaysia. The distribution of nicotine e-liquid can only be allowed by licensed pharmacies or registered medical practitioners. This study aimed to evaluate e-cigarette users’ responses to the control policy in a cross-sectional survey of 851 e-cigarette users by utilizing a self-report questionnaire that assessed (1) attitudes on regulation policy of e-cigarette banning; (2) e-cigarette use behaviors; and (3) sources of e-liquid after the regulation policy has been implemented. Participants from the state of Selangor where the banning policy was implemented were surveyed. The majority (95.8%) opposed the banning and believed e-cigarettes should be sold to anyone aged 18 years or above as with tobacco cigarettes, only a minority believed that nicotine e-liquid should only be available for sale over the counter in pharmacy stores (14.6%) and in clinics with a doctor’s prescription (11.8%). The majority (44.2%) reported that they would continue their e-cigarette use as before the banning policy, while 20% plan to completely stop e-cigarette usage without replacing it with any alternatives. The vast majority (87.9%) was still able to obtained nicotine e-liquid from e-cigarette shops in spite of the ban and the second most common source was from online purchase (63.1%). The sales of nicotine e-liquid from black-market were evidenced as many reported obtaining zero nicotine e-liquid from the black market (54.4%). Self- or home-made (30.8%) nicotine e-liquid was also reported. Majority of respondents that self-made e-liquid were from the average monthly income group (below MYR3000). Obtaining nicotine from the pharmacy was least preferred (21.4%). Provision of professional advice to nicotine e-liquid users along with the ban may lessen the likelihood of users switching to tobacco cigarettes or other nicotine alternatives. Banning of sales of nicotine e-liquid in e-cigarette shops resulted in a boom in the black market supplying nicotine e-liquid and, self- or home-made nicotine e-liquid. Enforcing regulations and monitoring black market sales is warranted. Efforts to educate e-cigarette users of the danger of sourcing nicotine e-liquid from the black market and self- or home-made nicotine e-liquid are essential.

Keywords

E-cigarette Banning policy E-cig Attitude 

Notes

Acknowledgements

The study was funded by University of Malaya Research Grant (UMRG) RP030 (A)-14HTM.

Author’s Contributions

LPW, NAM, VCWH conceived the study. LPW and HA developed the questionnaire. LPW, AG and HA performed the data collection. LPW wrote the manuscript. NAM and VCWH revised the manuscript and gave approval of the version to be published. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

References

  1. 1.
    Sumisha, N. (2016, Nov 10). Malaysia to regulate sale of e-cigarette liquids. The New York Times. Retrieved from http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/asiapacific/malaysia-to-regulate-sale/2248560.html.
  2. 2.
    Glum, J. (2016, Jan 22). Malaysian states ban e-cigarette sales, regulate popular vape industry. International Business Times. Retrieved from http://www.ibtimes.com/malaysian-states-ban-e-cigarette-sales-regulate-popular-vape-industry-2276270.
  3. 3.
    Lokman, H. S. Ministry of Health, Malaysia (2015, November 4). Ministry Of Health Will Act On Electronic Cigarette Containing Nicotine Using The Poison Act 1952 [Press release]. Retrieved from http://www.moh.gov.my/english.php/file_manager/dl_item/6132567565574630595734675957746f596d46794c30746c626e6c6864474668626c39426132686959584a6654553949583239755832557459326c6e59584a6c6448526c583246755a4639325958426c587a41304d5445784e563946626d647361584e6f4c6e426b5a673d3d.
  4. 4.
    Sinniah, D., & Khoo, E. J. (2015). E-cigarettes—Facts and legal status. IeJSME, 9, 10–19.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Wong, L. P., Shakir, S. M. M., Alias, H., Aghamohammadi, N., & Hoe, V. C. (2016). Reasons for using electronic cigarettes and intentions to quit among electronic cigarette users in Malaysia. Journal of community health, 41(6), 1101–1109.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Boo, S. L. (2013, Nov 3). Illegal smokes spike after price hike. The Malay Mail Online. Retrieved from http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/illegal-smokes-spike-after-price-hike.
  7. 7.
    Benowitz, N. L., & Goniewicz, M. L. (2013). The regulatory challenge of electronic cigarettes. JAMA, 310(7), 685–686.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Chin, C. (2016, Nov 23). Vaping craze a booming business. Retrieved from http://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2015/06/28/vaping-craze-a-booming-business/.
  9. 9.
    Williams, R. S., Derrick, J., & Ribisl, K. M. (2015). Electronic cigarette sales to minors via the internet. JAMA Pediatrics, 169(3), e1563–e1563.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Grana, R., Benowitz, N., & Glantz, S. A. (2014). E-cigarettes. Circulation, 129(19), 1972–1986.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Cameron, J. M., Howell, D. N., White, J. R., Andrenyak, D. M., Layton, M. E., & Roll, J. M. (2014). Variable and potentially fatal amounts of nicotine in e-cigarette nicotine solutions. Tobacco Control, 23(1), 77–78.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Li Ping Wong
    • 1
  • Haridah Alias
    • 1
  • Nasrin Agha Mohammadi
    • 1
  • Azadeh Ghadimi
    • 2
  • Victor Chee Wai Hoe
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, Faculty of MedicineUniversity of MalayaKuala LumpurMalaysia
  2. 2.School of EngineeringTaylors UniversitySubang JayaMalaysia

Personalised recommendations