A recent survey by the Consumers Association of Penang (CAP) on the use of vapes and e-cigarettes among young people found that more and more young girls, especially young girls,  are addicted to these devices.

Vape and e-cigarette use among the younger generation has now doubled compared to a year ago.

Although the popularity and use of e-cigarettes and vapes have increased, the perceived risk of harm remains low. Many young people, both girls and boys, are unaware of the dangers of what they are inhailing.

In our survey, some young girls who are vaping more than boys agree the device contains nicotine. Many young vapers said they know it contains chemicals and toxins that can cause serious health problems but they are not worried.

Vape and e-cigarette use in young girls, especially students, is a crisis. They claim that it is easy for them to buy these products, and that they share money to buy these devices.

CAP’s survey also reveals that more and more shops are situated almost everywhere to sell these devices to young people. Some even sell on installment basis, and this happens even in rural areas.

Most of the students and young girls we interviewed are in the age group of 14 to 22. We found that most girls who vape are from private universities compared to secondary schools. Many young people turn to vaping because of the thousands of chemical flavours available.

What is worrying is that these young people who would never have tried cigarettes are now getting dependent on nicotine at the most impressionable time in their lives.

E-cigarettes are nicotine delivery devices that have a battery, a healing element and a container for liquid. When the liquid is heated, users inhale the aerosol. The liquids are usually flavoured and contain nicotine.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there are 16,000 flavours of liquids sold in the market for vapes and e-cigarettes.

If the Health Ministry (MOH) takes a long time to ban vapes and e-cigarettes, the health of youths today will be at stake and we will have more sick youths in the future.

The vaping and e-cigarette lifestyle is also now being targeted at children as young as 10 years old, especially boys.

CAP urges the Health Ministry and local authorities not to issue new licences for vape shops.

Now in Penang, many roadside stalls are also selling vapes and e-cigarette devices for as low as RM50. Legal action must be taken against these shops.

The MOH must ban vapes and e-cigarettes for a healthy generation. More health education campaigns on the dangers of vapes and e-cigarettes should be started in schools and universities. And parents must play a very important role here to educate their children.



Mohideen Abdul Kader
Consumers Association of Penang (CAP)

Press Statement, 8 July 2022

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