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Perceived Effectiveness of Policy and Legislation on Smoking among Malaysian Adults

Background: Smoking is considered a risk factor for non-communicable diseases such as lung cancer2, chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases (COPD) 3 and cardiovascular diseases4. This has resulted in the equivalent of USD 0.9 billion being spent by the country in treating COPD, IHD and lung cancer.5 The government has formulated many policies and enacted laws, amongst others the Control of Tobacco Products Regulation 1993 (CTPR 1993), to decrease the consumption of tobacco products among Malaysians.

Aim & Objectives: To assess the perceived effectiveness of tobacco control policies and legislation among adults in Malaysia.

Methods/Study Design: A cross-sectional survey was carried out wherein a self-administered questionnaire was distributed to consenting participants.

Results/Findings: A total of 183 people aged between 22-87 years participated in the survey, of whom 9.8% (n=18) were smokers and the rest non-smokers. The responses on their perceptions of the effectiveness of various tobacco control measures and policies in Malaysia ranged from about 60% to more than 90% depending on the area in question.

Conclusion: There is a general perception there are effective and comprehensive tobacco control measures and policies in place. However, there is a need for more effective implementation and enforcement of these regulations to stop the increasing smoking prevalence in Malaysia.

Author(s): Kai Xuan Teh, Jia Xuan Ooi, Cai Lian Tam, Amudha Kadirvelu, Sivalal Sadasivan

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