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Go to quit smoking clinics instead of vaping, doc says

 | November 18, 2015

Lung Foundation of Malaysia trustee says these clinics offer free services and advice but these are poorly received by the public.


KUALA LUMPUR: Smokers wishing to kick the habit should seek the services of professionals at quit smoking clinics instead of resorting to vaping, Lung Foundation of Malaysia (LFM) trustee Dr Aziah Mahayiddin has said.

Speaking at the World Chronic Pulmonary Obstruction Disease (COPD) Day at KPJ Damansara Specialist Hospital, she explained that these clinics offered free services and that smokers should opt for this alternative rather than resort to vaping.

“They (quit smoking clinics) are free but unfortunately there are no takers,” she said.

Aziah, who is also a senior respiratory physician, expressed her frustration at the reluctance of smokers to seek the free advice being offered and said, “When they (smokers) try to stop on their own, this is when they start vaping.

“It is sad because we do have quit smoking clinics but smokers choose to vape instead, just as their peers are doing.”

Pantai Hospital respiratory physician Helmy Haja Mydin suggested that these clinics should receive more financial assistance from the government in order to encourage more people to kick the habit.

“Give them (quit smoking clinics) more financial support and allocations,” he said, and added that these clinics should also be located within neighbourhoods, so that it was easily accessible by the people.

LFH chairman Zainuddin Zin meanwhile blamed vaping as one of the leading causes of COPD and explained that in its early stages, symptoms go virtually unrecognised because individuals usually disregard breathlessness, chronic coughing, and phlegm as normal occurrences.

“We believe the long term effects (of vaping) may be as bad, if not worse than cigarettes because not enough research has been done on it,” he said.

Zainuddin also said that vaping might entice non-smokers to take up the habit due to the perception that it was harmless.

“E-cigarettes should be viewed like regular cigarettes until more information is available.

“Likewise, the role of e-cigarettes in aiding smoking cessation is not yet established.”

LFM and about 10 other associations will be writing to the Cabinet, urging for a total ban on vaping, Zainudin said, and advised smokers that it was “never too late to stop smoking.”


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