RESEARCH PAPER
The use of e-cigarettes among university students in Malaysia
 
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1
Department of Community Health, Faculty of Medicine, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Medical Centre, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
2
Respiratory Units, Faculty of Medicine, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Medical Centre, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
3
Department Da’wah and Leadership Studies, Faculty of Islamic Studies, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Selangor, Malaysia
4
Department of Family Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Medical Centre, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
5
University Malaya Centre of Addiction Sciences (UMCAS), University Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
6
Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Medical Centre, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
7
Institute for Environment and Development (LESTARI), Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Selangor, Malaysia
8
Department of Psychological and Behavioural Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM), Selayang Campus, Batu Caves, Selangor, Malaysia
9
Department of Software Engineering, College of Information Technology, Universiti Tenaga Nasional (UNITEN), Kajang, Malaysia
Publish date: 2018-12-10
 
Tob. Induc. Dis. 2018;16(December):57
KEYWORDS:
TOPICS:
ABSTRACT:
Introduction:
E-cigarette use is an emerging phenomenon with increasing recognition and acceptance globally. This study aims to create a profile of e-cigarette users among university students in Malaysia.

Methods:
The study was conducted using a cross-sectional research involving six universities in Malaysia. A semi-structured questionnaire was distributed to 1302 randomly selected students, who either smoked cigarettes and/or e-cigarettes. The 2011 version of Global Adult Tobacco Surveys (GATS) tool was used to record the respondents’ sociodemographic data.

Results:
The study revealed that 74.9% of the respondents smoked e-cigarettes; 40.3% used both cigarettes and e-cigarettes (dual users), and 34.5% were exclusive e-cigarette users. The exclusive use of e-cigarettes was related to gender (OR=0.18, 95% CI: 0.09–0.39). Also, male respondents were the majority users (95%). Of the respondents, 75.2 % were Malays, 98.0% single and most believed they have no health problems (92.1%). Further findings revealed the occurrence of adverse effects, dizziness 14.4%, cough 14.1%, and headaches 12.4%. Overall, 57.8% of the respondents used e-cigarettes as a smoking cessation tool, while others consider e-cigarettes a self-image enhancing tool or as part of social activities.

Conclusions:
Further research on the use of e-cigarettes should be conducted on a large number of respondents in other settings to augment the findings of this study, and also guide policy making on and prevention practice of e-cigarette use, among the general student population in Malaysia.

CORRESPONDING AUTHOR:
Sharifa Ezat Wan Puteh   
Department of Community Health, Faculty of Medicine, University Kebangsaan Malaysia Medical Centre, Cheras, 56000 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
 
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