KUALA LUMPUR – A study on e-cigarette addiction conducted by the Institute of Respiratory Medicine (IPR) since 2013 is expected to be completed early next year.
According to IPR’s senior medical consultant, Prof Datuk Dr Abdul Razak Abdul Muttalif, the research, currently in the preliminary epidemiology stage, required more time for in-depth study on solid evidence.
“The e-cigarrette issue is controversial, there are pros and cons. We have to wait for the outcome and will also obtain information from the World Health Organisation (WHO), which might take a long time, the latest by next year.
“We have gone through numbers of papers on e-cigarette published by different bodies, societies and scientific papers throughout the world.
“Some of them agreed that e-cigarette should be banned and there are also findings that it should be controlled,” he told Bernama recently.
E-cigarette is an electronic device that simulates or resembles the conventional way of smoking.
Abdul Razak said e-cigarette smokers might likely experience an acute or short term effect such as coughing and tiredness.
“The chronic or long term effect of it is cancer, heart disease and many other chronic diseases.
“The major concern now is that many people misuse the device by adding drugs such as marijuana and heroin, which will do more harm to the body and this will be very difficult for the authorised bodies to control,” he said.
Abdul Razak said countries that had banned electronic cigarettes included Singapore, Brunei and Thailand, while India was reported to be planning to ban it soon.
IPR is the main treatment centre for lung diseases like tuberculosis, asthma, lung cancer as well as lung-related conditions such as sleep disorders.
The centre also carries out investigations and experiments on the diseases, including risk factors such as smoking.
The centre has conducted, published and presented many of its researches in many countries including the United States of America, Japan and Thailand.
“IPR is very active in conducting researches and we are currently working on a new research for WHO on tuberculosis, which started last month and will take two years to complete,” he said.