PUTRAJAYA, Oct 20 — The perception that electronic cigarettes or vaping are not harmful needs to be corrected as users of the substance are at risk of getting lung injury or E-cigarette Or Vaping Product Use-Associated Lung Injury (EVALI), said Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin.
He said EVALI was first diagnosed in 2019 in the United States, with 2,800 cases of lung injury and 68 deaths involving the use of electronic cigarettes and vaping detected.
In Malaysia, the minister said, he had been informed that two cases were reported in 2019, eight cases in 2021 and four cases were recorded between June and September last year.
“EVALI is serious…scientifically, it has been proven that vaping is not something that comes without harm,” he said when launching the Clinical Practice Guidelines (CPG) for Management of EVALI here today.
He said that based on the National Health and Morbidity Survey (NHMS) in 2019, there were about 1.1 million electronic cigarette or vaping users in Malaysia.
On the management of EVALI, Khairy said, early detection and treatment can be given to patients so that long-term complications, as well as treatment costs, can be reduced.
“ The estimated cost of treating an EVALI patient admitted to hospital for four days is RM50,297.37,” he said.
Khairy said the use of electronic cigarettes or vaping can also cause numbness, palpitations and hallucinations.
“This situation is very risky and can increase the rate of morbidity and death,” he said, adding that the Health Ministry was now monitoring cases of respiratory symptoms related to the use of electronic cigarettes.