GEORGE TOWN: A Consumers Association of Penang (CAP) survey on the use of vape and e-cigarettes among young people found that more girls are hooked on the device.
CAP anti-tobacco activist and education officer N.V. Subbarow said the survey also found that the use of vape and e-cigarettes among the younger generation had doubled compared with the previous year.
While the popularity of vape and e-cigarettes was on the rise, the perceived risk of harm was low, he said.
"Many boys and girls were unaware of the dangers of what they were taking. Some young girls, however, acknowledged that vape and e-cigarettes contained nicotine.
"Our survey also revealed that there are more and more shops selling the devices, including in rural areas. Some offer installment plans," said Subbarow.
He said most of the students and young girls interviewed were aged from 14 to 22 years old.
"The girls are mostly from private universities and they turned to vaping because of the variety of flavours. We fear that these young people are now hooked on nicotine."
Subbarow said CAP urged the Health Ministry to ban vape and e-cigarettes and stop issuing new licences for premises to sell vape and e-cigarette devices.
"There are many roadside stalls selling vape and e-cigarette devices from as low as RM50."
CAP urged more health education campaigns to be conducted in schools and universities, he added.