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Study Shows Cigarette Ban Will Push People To Seek Out Cheaper Illegal Cigarettes

Study Shows Cigarette Ban Will Push People To Seek Out Cheaper Illegal Cigarettes

Malaysians believe that the cigarette ban will only lead to an increase in the illegal cigarette black market.

Adeline Leong

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A recent study revealed that Malaysians believe the illegal cigarettes trade will increase exponentially if the Government moves ahead with its plans to ban cigarette sales to those who are born after 2005.

READ MORE: Malaysia Wants To Make Smoking Illegal For People Born After 2005

READ MORE: Malaysians Give Thumbs Down To Cigarette & Vape Ban

In the study, two-thirds of smokers polled have admitted that they’ve smoked or are currently smoking an illegal brand of cigarettes due to its low price. This also indicates that cheap contraband cigarettes are a gateway to smoking.

The results came from a recent poll commissioned by DARE (Datametrics Research & Information CentreSdnBhd), a Malaysian based think-tank. It was carried out by Green Zebra, a leading market research company in Malaysia.

According to the Managing Director & Co-founder of Green Zebras Sdn Bhd, Steve Murphy, the survey showed that there’s a strong belief that banning cigarettes sales to the next generation will only lead to a rise in the illegal cigarettes market and benefit criminal syndicates.

The survey found that:

  • 94% of those polled believe that the low cost of illegal cigarettes versus legal cigarettes is a key driver for smokers to occasionally try or regularly smoke illegal brands.
  • 50% of Malaysians also said the easy availability of illegal cigarettes is a critical factor in drawing people to purchase and smoke illegal products.
  • 90% of the Malaysian population believes that the illegal cigarettes trade is a problem for Malaysia and wants it stopped.
  • 6 in 10 of the people polled do not have the confidence in the Government’s ability to reduce black market activities, including the illegal cigarettes trade, over the next year.

Malaysians understand that the illegal cigarettes trade has a high socio-economic cost. Before coming up with new measures that could, in fact, worsen the present situation, perhaps the Government should first focus on enforcing its current laws to eradicate illegal cigarettes, which is a big, ongoing issue in Malaysia.

Managing Director & Co-founder of Green Zebras Sdn Bhd Steve Murphy

The poll carried out by Green Zebra was conducted online in March 2022 in both Peninsular Malaysia and East Malaysia. It comprises a sample size of 1,000 Malaysian adults and is nationally representative of the overall population by location, gender, race and age.


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