KUALA LUMPUR: 93 per cent of majority Malaysians want the government to stop the supply of cheap contraband cigarettes.
A large percentage of parents (93 per cent), teachers (98 per cent), healthcare professionals (97 per cent) and even smokers (88 per cent) said in a survey that they would support the government in taking action to stop criminal elements from supplying cheap contraband cigarettes into the country.
These findings came from the Malaysian Perception of Smoking and Vaping Survey, a recent opinion poll conducted by Green Zebras Sdn Bhd (GZSB), a leading market research company in Malaysia.
In an effort to gain insights into what Malaysians think about cheap contraband cigarettes impacting the country, the poll also found that over half, or 61 per cent of those surveyed say that the government is currently not doing enough to prevent this serious problem.
In fact, 89 per cent of all respondents believe that losses to taxpayers from cheap contraband cigarettes amounting to over RM5 billion in 2018, and likely to increase every year, is a grave concern to the Malaysian economy.
"Our survey shows that Malaysians are well aware of the prevalence of cheap contraband cigarettes in Malaysia and are holding the Government accountable for putting an end to this nationwide scourge," GZSB co-founder and managing director Steve Murphy said.
"Unfortunately, many felt that the government is currently not doing enough to address this problem. Its lack of action so far has led Malaysians to believe that the problem can only get worse in the foreseeable future,” he said in a statement.
Green Zebras’ Malaysian Perception on Smoking and Vaping Survey comprised of a sample size of 1,010 Malaysian adults and is reflective of the perception of all Malaysian adults across Peninsular Malaysia.