PETALING JAYA: We have e-government, e-kasih, e-payment and many others. Now, get set for e-cigarette, which is being touted as your electronic way to kick the smoking habit.
The device looks like a cigarette and tastes like one. And you do exhale what looks like smoke. But the similarities end there.
The e-cigarette does not emit smell, there’s no second-hand smoke and it will not set off smoke detectors.
The e-cigarrettes come in kits comprising a charger, batteries and cartridges or mouthpiece. The cartridge, battery and an atomiser are put together to look like a cigarette stick.
When a user inhales through the “cigarette”, air flow is detected by a sensor. A microprocessor then activates an atomiser which vapourises the nicotine in the mouthpiece. This produces a vapour mist which is inhaled by the user.
A proponent of e-cigarettes, Raja Faisal Raja Hishan Shah, said there was a cost saving factor, too, besides helping smokers wean off tobacco.
“You can save about RM70 or RM75 per month without having to buy the regular cigarettes. It is much cheaper and safer,” he said.
However, Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said there was no study on the effectiveness of e-cigarettes as a means to encourage smokers to quit or cut down on their habit.
“Maybe it is a way to kick the habit. I hope it can help people stop their addiction,” he said. “WHO has also not endorsed the method because of lack of data.”
Liow said the most important issue here was that smoking was not good for health.
“Nicotine is still bad for the health even though you won’t get the 4,000 harmful chemicals which you would get from smoking a conventional cigarette,” he said.
Liow said e-cigarettes should be registered with the ministry’s pharmaceutical division because it contained nicotine.
Meanwhile, Malaysian Medical Association president Dr David Quek dismissed the e-cigaratte as an “industry gimmick”.

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