Journal of Community Health

, Volume 41, Issue 6, pp 1101–1109 | Cite as

Reasons for Using Electronic Cigarettes and Intentions to Quit Among Electronic Cigarette Users in Malaysia

  • Li Ping WongEmail author
  • Sharina Mahavera Mohamad Shakir
  • Haridah Alias
  • Nasrin Aghamohammadi
  • Victor CW Hoe
Original Paper


The rapidly increasing uptake of e-cigarettes in Malaysia as of late demands a study to identify factors leading to its increased popularity and user intentions to quit smoking e-cigarettes. A convenience sample of e-cigarette smokers visiting e-cigarette retail shops in Selangor and Kuala Lumpur was recruited. The majority of e-cigarette smokers were youth in colleges or universities (39 %), and young professionals and managers (36 %). The main reasons for using e-cigarettes were to help the user quit tobacco cigarettes (88 %), the perception that e-cigarettes are not as intrusive as tobacco cigarettes (85 %) and can be used in public areas (70 %), the perception that e-cigarettes are healthier than tobacco cigarettes (85 %), and its relatively lower cost compared to tobacco cigarettes (65 %). A total of 65.3 % of respondents expressed intentions to quit e-cigarettes. In a multivariate analysis, the respondents who earned monthly income of RM1000 or less were significantly more likely to intend to quit smoking e-cigarettes [OR 1.551; 95 % CI 1.022–2.355; p = 0.015] compared to the respondents who earned a monthly income of more than RM2000. The respondents who disagreed with the statement ‘Smoking e-cigs is relatively cheaper compared to tobacco cigarettes’ were significantly more likely to intend to quit smoking e-cigarettes [OR 1.548; 95 % CI 1.045–2.293; p = 0.027] compared to respondents who did not agree. e-cigarette preventive interventions should target areas related to the identified main reasons for using e-cigarettes, namely as an aid for quitting tobacco cigarettes, the perception that e-cigarettes are not as intrusive as tobacco cigarettes and can be used in public areas, the idea that e-cigarettes are healthier than tobacco cigarettes, and its relatively lower cost compared to tobacco cigarettes.


Electronic cigarette Intention to quit e-cig 



The study was funded by University of Malaya Research Grant (UMRG) RP030 (A)-14HTM.

Author’s Contribution

Wong Li Ping conceived the study and wrote the manuscript. Mohamed Shakir Sharina Mahavera and Alias Haridah performed the data collection. Agha Mohammadi Nasrin and Hoe Victor Chee Wai revised the manuscript and gave approval of the version to be published. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Li Ping Wong
    • 1
    Email author
  • Sharina Mahavera Mohamad Shakir
    • 1
  • Haridah Alias
    • 1
  • Nasrin Aghamohammadi
    • 1
  • Victor CW Hoe
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, Faculty of MedicineUniversity of MalayaKuala LumpurMalaysia

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