Sale of tobacco products among minors in a satellite township near Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. An observational study
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SEGi University, Faculty of Dentistry, Malaysia
Publication date: 2018-03-01
Tob. Induc. Dis. 2018;16(Suppl 1):A409
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Prevalence of smoking among minors is 18.2% in Malaysia. The legal age to buy tobacco products in Malaysia is 18 years and the Government intends to raise the permissible age to 21 years. The aim of the study was to assess the environment of the shops selling tobacco products about its sale among minors. The objective also included structured interviews of the sales personal regarding their knowledge and attitude towards the sale of tobacco products among minors.

Two researchers observed 31 shops/restaurants selling tobacco products (cigarettes/shisha). Shops within 500 meters of schools and universities were studied. Observations included presence of signages regarding ban on sales of tobacco products to minors and also the ban on sale of single sticks/loose cigarettes. Sales person of these shops willing to be interviewed were administered with a questionnaire and data was collected. Collected data was analysed using descriptive statistics.

Out of 31 places, 5 were restaurants catering shisha and 26 were selling cigarettes. Two restaurants were catering shisha smoking to minors. Among the 26 shops selling cigarettes only 42.3% (n=11) had a clear signage regarding ban on sales of tobacco products to minors. Loose cigarettes were sold in 35 %( n=9) of the shops. Out of 26 shops, only 7 sales person were willing to be interviewed by the researcher (DDD). All interviewed individuals, were aware about the adverse health effects of smoking and the legal age to buy tobacco products in Malaysia. Five sales person agreed that they had sold tobacco products to minors.

[Descriptive Statistics Showing Signages and sales]

Minors would be tempted to try tobacco products if strict ban is not enforced. Even though current laws exist to address the ban of tobacco products among minors, implementation seems to be weak in the studied locality. The authorities should monitor sale of tobacco products in future.

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