E-cigarettes Are Allies, Not Enemies.

Malaysia should follow New Zealand’s approach to smoking cessation e-cigarettes are allies, not enemies.


According to foreign reports, there is a lot of evidence that e-cigarettes(heated tobacco hnb) are not only less harmful than cigarettes, but can also effectively help people quit smoking.


It is difficult for any government these days to get Malaysians and politicians on both sides of the divide excited about any policy.


But when Malaysian authorities announced plans to ban access to tobacco products for those born after 2005, they certainly got many, if not most, excited.


As soon as the news came out, there was an uproar on social media. It was a bold move at a time when the political stakes were high. Some question whether the authorities have the willpower to make this a reality.


The cynicism is understandable. Authorities have so far failed to stamp out illegal cigarettes — Malaysia remains the world’s largest by volume — and even failed to properly enforce smoking bans in restaurants.


The ministry’s announcement that the final phase, including e-cigarettes, could give cynics more reason to think they were right to doubt the government’s plan would work.


The reason is simple - e-cigarettes(hnb heatsticks) are an ally in any program to get people to quit smoking.


In fact, it is a key ally, if not the most important.


This may sound odd because smoking and vaping are often seen as the same problem, but science tells us otherwise.


There is plenty of evidence – and growing – that e-cigarettes(heating device supplier) are not only less harmful than cigarettes, but are also effective in helping people quit smoking. Even more effective than nicotine patches, gum or drugs.


That’s why e-cigarettes are seen as an important part of New Zealand’s own Smoke Free 2025 plan.


Late last year, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, speaking of the country’s own 2025 smoke-free plan, said it was necessary to consider alternatives such as e-cigarettes, rather than old-fashioned restrictions like raising the price of cigarettes.


“We already have the vaping framework, we’ve seen people use e-cigarettes as a tool to quit smoking, which actually allows us to move forward with further activity to reduce smoking because there is a very successful alternative for people to quit smoking. We Knowing that e-cigarettes are having an impact on people today in order to quit smoking, so it’s an important tool,” she was quoted as saying.


She couldn’t have said it better that Malaysia had better learn from New Zealand’s playbook. Although e-cigarettes are not without risks, there is no denying that they are a less harmful and more effective alternative to smoking.


Interestingly, e-cigarettes have been a cornerstone theme of the QuitStrong movement in New Zealand and provided as a key support mechanism to help people quit smoking.


The truth is, as ambitious as it may sound, Malaysia’s tobacco endgame is not out of reach.


It doesn’t even have to reinvent the wheel, as other countries like New Zealand are showing how to get people to quit smoking.


But the government will not rely on negative sentiment or outdated notions like e-cigarettes to achieve its goals.


It has to talk about its reliance on science and data as it preaches on COVID-19 and vaccinations. Scientific facts and figures are all around us. It is up to us whether or not to use them to design policies that not only change but save lives.