Recently, the Malaysian e-Cigarette Chamber of Commerce (MVCC) released the “Malaysia e-cigarette Industry Study 2023”, which shows that as more cigarette users switch to e-cigarettes, the number of consumers has also increased, and the retail value has surged by about 53% from RM2.27 billion in 2019. It is expected to reach RM3.48 billion (about 5.47 billion yuan) by 2023.
The study revealed that Malaysia’s e-cigarette industry is fast becoming a game-changer for traditional cigarettes, with 31% of Malaysian smokers having switched completely to e-cigarettes, while 69% of cigarette users use e-cigarettes at the same time, with up to half of them using e-cigarettes to quit completely.
The report also noted that the e-cigarette industry’s contribution to the economy has increased significantly, and the number of vaping-related jobs has also risen.
Ridhwan Rosli, secretary general of the MVCC, said the research clearly shows that the e-cigarette industry continues to grow strongly.
“In addition to its important contribution to the national economy and helping smokers to quit, it promotes the growth of local businesses and creates multiple jobs both directly and indirectly throughout the supply chain.”
He expressed support for the government to regulate the e-cigarette industry through the introduction of a tax framework and the introduction of the Public Health Smoking Products Control Act 2023. However, the “generational Endgame (GEG) policy” belonging to the MVCC has raised concerns.
Rosli added that the main concern is the potential adverse economic impact this could have on the sector. The e-cigarette industry is experiencing significant growth and many entrepreneurs have found opportunities and livelihoods in this market.
Implementing GEG policies could stifle this growth, leading to job losses and affecting the livelihoods of many.
“It would also send the wrong message to smokers, putting e-cigarettes in the same category as cigarettes, which would deter many people from using e-cigarettes to quit.”
According to data from the Malaysian e-Cigarette Industry Study 2023, it was obtained through two studies, one was direct contact with industry players and the other was an online consumer survey.
The findings of industry research show that the number of e-cigarette companies has changed over the past few years.
Currently, there are about 7,500 retail stores selling e-cigarette products and 2,500 retail stores selling e-cigarette products. From 2015 to 2022, the number of employees increased from 15,000 to 31,500.
Key findings from the consumer study include:
The proportion of e-cigarette users using open and closed systems fell from 77% and 23% in 2019 to 50% and 18% in 2023, while disposable systems quickly captured 32% of the market.
The total average spend on open/closed systems is estimated at RM2.56 billion per year, while the spend on disposable products is estimated at RM925 million per year.
34% of e-cigarette users prefer nicotine-only e-cigarette liquids, and 28% prefer nicotine-free e-cigarette liquids. About 38 percent used both.
The nicotine content per milliliter (ml) of e-cigarette liquid shows that 95% of people use 40 mg of nicotine per ml.
The reasons users choose to use e-cigarettes are because they are less harmful to the body than cigarettes (45%), help to quit smoking (45%), and are cheaper than smoking cigarettes (36%).
Rosli mentioned that Malaysia has an international reputation for manufacturing high-quality e-cigarette products, especially e-cigarette liquid.
This puts Malaysia in a good position to attract high-quality foreign direct investment, thereby strengthening the e-cigarette business ecosystem.