One of the determinants of cigarette consumption in Malaysia is the demographic characteristics of a population (age grouping, gender, ethnicity, etc.). It is used to monitor the tobacco consumption in the country to provide evidence and concrete analysis needed for the efficacy of anti-smoking policies and programs. Smokers use tobacco products including cigarettes.
23.1% of Malaysian adults were current smokers of any smoked tobacco product; 22.9% had smoked any cigarettes; 20.1% had smoked manufactured cigarettes; 4.0% had smoked hand-rolled cigarettes; and 4.4% had smoked kreteks. Among Malaysian men, 43.9% had smoked any tobacco product, 43.6% had smoked any cigarettes (38.3% of men had smoked manufactured cigarettes, 7.4% had smoked hand-rolled, and 8.4% had smoked kreteks) and 1.9% had smoked other tobacco products. Among Malaysian women, only 1.0% had smoked any tobacco product and the same proportion (1.0%) had smoked any cigarettes (0.7% had smoked manufactured cigarettes; 0.4% had smoked hand-rolled cigarettes; and 0.1%, kreteks) and 0.1% had smoked other tobacco products.
By age, overall, the 25-44 age group had the highest percentage of smokers of any smoked tobacco products (29.0%), any type of cigarette (28.9%), and manufactured cigarettes (26.2%). Among men, the highest percentage of smokers was also found in the 25-44 age group where 54.9% smoked tobacco. This age group for men also had the highest prevalence of smoking any type of cigarette (54.6%), and manufactured cigarettes (49.4%). The next highest percentage of male smokers was found for the age group of 45-64, where 43.8% smoked tobacco. Among women, the oldest age group (≥65) had the highest prevalence of current smokers (5.0%), any cigarette smokers (5.0%) and hand-rolled cigarettes (2.6%). Overall, the percentage of adults who smoked tobacco products was 24.3% in rural areas and 22.7% in urban areas, while the use of manufactured cigarettes was 20.3% in urban areas and 19.4% in rural areas. The smoking of various tobacco products was in most cases inversely related to the educational level if the analysis began with the primary level. Take this for an example, the prevalence of smoking any tobacco product decreased from 54.1% among men and 2.0% among women with a primary education to 30.5% among men and 0.0% among women with a college education or more. By race/ethnicity, adults of “other” ethnicity had a higher prevalence than other groups of smoking any tobacco product, any cigarette, manufactured cigarettes, and kreteks, but these differences were not significant. Generally, similar patterns were seen among men and women considered individually.
Overall, Muslim current smokers had a higher prevalence than their non-Muslim counterparts in all comparisons, with most of these differences significant. This was also true for men considered individually. For women the differences by religion were very marginal, consistent with their low prevalence of smoking.