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  1. Lim KH, Lim HL, Teh CH, Kee CC, Heng PP, Cheah YK, et al.
    Tob Induc Dis, 2018;16.
    DOI: 10.18332/tid/95188
    Introduction: Understanding the prevalence of secondhand smoke (SHS) exposure and the associated factors is beneficial for the formulation of effective measures to reduce exposure to SHS. The purpose of this study was to determine SHS exposure at home and workplace, and its associated factors among non-smoker Malaysian adults. Methods: Data were extracted from the Global Adult Tobacco Survey-Malaysia (GATS-M) that involved a representative sample of 5112 Malaysian adults. Logistic regression analyses were performed to examine the association between SHS exposure, sociodemographic factors, knowledge on the danger of SHS, and smoking restrictions at home and at work among non-smokers. Results: Among non-smoker Malaysians, age ≥15 years, 27.9% (equivalent to approximately 4.21 million non-smokers) and 33.9% (equivalent to approximately 1.37 million non-smokers) reported that they were exposed to SHS at home and the workplace, at least once a month, respectively. Women (AOR=2.12, 95% CI: 1.61.2.78), young individuals (AOR=3.06, 95% CI: 1.48.6.33), Malays (AOR=2.39, 95% CI: 1.56.3.64) or other Bumiputra ethnic groups (AOR=2.40, 95% CI: 1.39.4.19) and those who worked as other than government employees were more likely to report SHS exposure at home (non-government employee: AOR=1.88, 95% CI: 1.06.3.36). Respondents with a total smoking restriction at home did not report any SHS exposure at home. Similarly, those whose workplace had smoking restrictions were less likely to report SHS exposure at the work compared to their counterparts whose workplace had partial (AOR=3.08, 95% CI: 1.84.5.15) or no smoking restrictions (AOR=15.33, 95% CI: 6.75.34.86). Conclusions: A substantial proportion of Malaysian adults were exposed to SHS at home and at work. The findings emphasize the need for policies on smoking restrictions at work and the need to promote the adoption of a completely smoke-free home, among the Malaysian population.
    Study name: Global Adults Tobacco Survey (GATS-2011)
  2. Lim KH, Mohd Ghazali S, Lim HL, Kee CC, Teh CH, Lim JH
    MyJurnal
    Introduction: Expansion of smoke-free areas in public domains is suspected to displace smoking into the home. However, the scarcity of such information in Malaysia warrants an investigation to determine SHS exposure at home among adults in Malaysia.
    Methods: This study studied 4,250 and 21,445 adults who participated in the 2011 Global Adult Tobacco Survey-Malaysia (GATS-M) and, the National Health and Morbidity Survey (NHMS) 2015, respectively. Multivariable logistic regression modelling was used to compare the odds of SHS exposure at home among adults in 2011 (GATS-M) to odds of SHS exposure at home among adults in 2015 (NHMS 2015).
    Results: Approximately one third of respondents were exposed to SHS at home in 2011 (38.4%) and 2015 (37.9%). MLR analysis revealed the odds of SHS exposure at home was not significantly different from 2011 [AOR 1.14, 95 % CI (0.99-1.31). 2015 exposure to SHS as reference]. This study also indicates no significant displacement of smoking into the home by socio-demographic and smoking status between 2011 and 2015.
    Conclusion: The findings suggest that smoking has not been displaced into the home in the past four years although the number of smoke-free public areas have increased. More public smoke free areas should be established.
    Study name: 2011
    Global Adult Tobacco Survey-Malaysia (GATS-M); National Health and Morbidity Survey (NHMS-2015)

  3. Lim KH, Jasvindar K, Cheong SM, Ho BK, Lim HL, Teh CH, et al.
    Tob Induc Dis, 2016;14:8.
    PMID: 27006650 DOI: 10.1186/s12971-016-0073-z
    BACKGROUND: The determination of smoking prevalence and its associated factors among the elderly could provide evidence-based findings to guide the planning and implementation of policy in order to will help in reducing the morbidity and mortality of smoking-related diseases, thus increase their quality of life. This paper describes the rate of smoking and identifies the factor(s) associated with smoking among the elderly in Malaysia.
    METHODS: A representative sample of 2674 respondents was obtained via a two-stage sampling method in proportion to population size. Face-to-face interviews were conducted using a set of standardized validated questionnaire. Data was weighted by taking into consideration the complex sampling design and non-response rate prior to data analysis. Univariable and multivariable logistic regression were used to determine the factor/s associated with smoking.
    RESULTS: The prevalence of non-smokers, ex-smokers and current smokers among Malaysians aged 60 years and above were 36.3 % (95 % CI = 32.7-39.8), 24.4 % (95 % CI = 21.2-27.5) and 11.9 % (95 % CI = 9.5-14.3), respectively. Current smokers were significantly more prevalent in men (28.1 %) than in women (2.9 %), but the prevalence declined with advancing age, higher educational attainment, and among respondents with known diabetes, hypertension and hypercholesterolemia. Multivariable analysis revealed that males (aOR, 18.6, 95 % CI 10.9-31.9) and other Bumiputras (aOR 2.58, 95 % CI 1.29-5.15) were more likely to smoke. in addition, elderly with lower educational attainment (aOR, 1.70, 95 % CI 1.24-7.41) and those without/unknown hypertension also reported higher likelihood to be current smokers (aOR 1.98, 95 % CI 1.35-2.83). However, there were no significant associations between respondents with no/unknown diabetes or hypercholesterolemia with smoking.
    CONCLUSIONS: In short, smoking is common among elderly men in Malaysia. Therefore, intervention programs should integrate the present findings to reduce the smoking rate and increase the smoking cessation rate among the elderly in Malaysia and subsequently to reduce the burden of smoking-related disease.
    Study name: National Health and Morbidity Survey (NHMS-2011)
  4. Lim KH, Lim HL, Teh CH, Ghazali SM, Kee CC, Heng PP, et al.
    Tob Induc Dis, 2019;17:51.
    PMID: 31516494 DOI: 10.18332/tid/100692
    INTRODUCTION: Studies have shown that the implementation of smoke-free policies at workplaces have shifted the social norms towards secondhand smoke (SHS) exposure at home. This study aimed to investigate whether working in a smoke-free workplace is associated with living in a smoke-free home (SFH).

    METHODS: The data were derived from the Malaysian Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS-M), collected in 2011-2012, involving 4250 respondents. Data analyses involved 1343 respondents reported to be in the working population.

    RESULTS: More than half of the respondents (58.5%) were reportedly working in smoke-free workplaces. Almost a quarter (24.8%) of those who worked in smoke-free workplaces stayed in smoke-free homes, which was more than two times higher than their counterparts who worked at non-smoke-free workplaces (24.8% vs 12.0%, p<0.001). Multivariable analyses further substantiated this finding (AOR=2.01, 95% CI: 1.11-3.61, reference group = worked at non-smoke-free workplaces).

    CONCLUSIONS: This study found an association between living in smoke-free homes and working at smoke-free workplaces, which could suggest a positive impact of implementing smoke-free workplaces.

  5. Lim KH, Ghazali SM, Lim HL, Cheong KC, Teh CH, Lim KK, et al.
    BMJ Open, 2019 Oct 28;9(10):e031164.
    PMID: 31662384 DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2019-031164
    OBJECTIVE: The identification of susceptible non-smoking adolescents is an essential step in reducing smoking initiation among adolescents. The aim of this study was to examine the prevalence and factors associated with smoking susceptibility among non-smoking school-going adolescents in Malaysia.

    DESIGN: Cross-sectional study.

    SETTING: Primary and secondary schools in Malaysia.

    PARTICIPANTS: 11 246 non-smoking school-going adolescents.

    OUTCOME MEASURES: The prevalence and factors associated with smoking susceptibility among non-smoking school-going adolescents in Malaysia.

    RESULTS: Approximately 14% of non-smokers were susceptible to smoking, and the prevalence of susceptibility was significantly higher among males, ever-smokers and e-cigarette users. The odds of susceptibility to smoking were higher among males, e-cigarette users, those aged 12 years and under and those who had ever smoked or tried cigarettes. Students from schools with educational programmes on the health effects of second-hand smoke (SHS) and who perceived smoking to be harmful were less likely to be susceptible to smoking.

    CONCLUSION: Smoking susceptibility is prevalent among school-going adolescents. A comprehensive approach that enhances or reinforces health education programmes on the adverse health effects of smoking and SHS among school children, that considers multiple factors and that involves all stakeholders is urgently needed to reduce the prevalence of smoking susceptibility among vulnerable subgroups, as identified from the present findings.

  6. Lim KH, Lim HL, Ghazali SM, Kee CC, Teh CH, Gill BS, et al.
    Tob Induc Dis, 2020;18:53.
    PMID: 32565765 DOI: 10.18332/tid/122586
    INTRODUCTION: We investigated the prevalence of children's exposure to secondhand smoke (SHS) in the car of their parents/guardians and the associated factors.

    METHODS: A self-administered validated questionnaire was used to obtain data from the nationally representative samples of school-going adolescents aged 11-19 years in Malaysia. Prevalence rates were computed and chi-squared tests and multiple logistic regression were conducted.

    RESULTS: Of the participants, 23.3% reported exposure to SHS at least once in the car of their parents/guardians during the last 7 days before the survey. The prevalence and likelihood of SHS exposure were significantly higher in Malays, descendants of natives of Sabah and Sarawak, schools in rural areas, females, and current smokers. However, age group and knowledge on the harmful effects of SHS were not significant after adjusting for confounding effects.

    CONCLUSIONS: A substantial proportion of school-going adolescents were exposed to secondhand smoke in the car of their parents/guardians. This highlights the need for effective tobacco control measures to include health promotion and smoke-free car regulations to be introduced to prevent severe health hazards and to reduce smoking initiation among non-smoking adolescents.

  7. Lim KH, Ghazali SM, Lim HL, Cheong YL, Kee CC, Heng PP, et al.
    Tob Induc Dis, 2021;19:50.
    PMID: 34177412 DOI: 10.18332/tid/136029
    INTRODUCTION: Secondhand (SHS) smoke exposure has caused various health problems. Therefore, continuous monitoring of SHS exposure is important to determine the efficacy of various anti-tobacco measure implemented. The study aims to compare the prevalence and factor(s) associated with SHS exposure among secondary school-going adolescents in Malaysia during 2012 and 2017.

    METHODS: We derived data from the Global School Health Survey (GSHS) 2012 and GSHS 2017, which was carried out in Malaysia using multistage sampling to select representative samples of secondary school-going adolescents. Both surveys used similar questionnaires to measure SHS exposure. Descriptive and multivariate logistic regression was used to determine the prevalence and factors associated with SHS exposure.

    RESULTS: Approximately four in ten respondents were exposed to SHS in the past week in both surveys (41.5% in GSHS 2012 and 42.0% in GSHS 2017, respectively). Both surveys revealed a significantly higher SHS exposure among respondents who smoked than among non-smokers and higher among males compared to females. The likelihood of SHS exposure in both surveys was also similar, with a higher likelihood of SHS exposure among smoking adolescents and non-smoking adolescents who had at least one smoking parent/guardian, regardless of their own smoking status. Male adolescents had a higher risk of SHS exposure compared to their female counterparts. Meanwhile, SHS risk also increased with age, regardless of smoking status.

    CONCLUSIONS: Our findings suggested that there were no changes in the prevalence of SHS exposure and recorded only a slight change in the factors associated with exposure to SHS among school-going adolescents in Malaysia between the years 2012 and 2017. A more pro-active, extensive and comprehensive programme should be implemented to address the problem of SHS exposure. Parents should be advised to stop smoking or abstain from smoking in the presence of their children, and smoking cessation interventions are necessary for smoking adolescents and their parents.

  8. Lim KH, Cheong YL, Sulaiman N, Yah XY, Mahadzir ME, Lim JH, et al.
    Tob Induc Dis, 2022;20:105.
    PMID: 36474605 DOI: 10.18332/tid/155376
    INTRODUCTION: Measuring the level of nicotine addiction among smokers is an integral part of enhancing smoking cessation as nicotine dependence is one of the barriers to smoking cessation. In this study, we compared the level of agreement between FTND and HSI in detecting high nicotine dependence among daily smokers.

    METHODS: We collected data from participants of a public smoking cessation clinic in Selangor. A trained pharmacist conducted face-to-face interviews with 152 daily smokers using a structured validated questionnaire. Respondents were classified as having high nicotine dependence using both the HSI (score ≥4) and the FTND (score ≥6), and concordance between the two measures, kappa statistics and sensitivity, specificity of the HSI were then determined with the FTND classification as the reference standard.

    RESULTS: The HSI had a substantial agreement with the FTND (Cohen's kappa=0.72) in measuring high levels of nicotine addiction, with good sensitivity (83.3%) and specificity (89.4%).

    CONCLUSIONS: The findings suggest that the HSI can be used instead of the FTND in clinical-based investigations to screen for high nicotine dependence among daily smokers in the clinical setting.

  9. Lim KH, Lim HL, Teh CH, Kee CC, Khoo YY, Ganapathy SS, et al.
    Tob Induc Dis, 2017;15:9.
    PMID: 28163668 DOI: 10.1186/s12971-016-0108-5
    BACKGROUND: A multitude of studies have revealed that smoking is a learned behaviour during adolescence and efforts to reduce the incidence of smoking has been identified as long-term measures to curb the smoking menace. The objective of this study was to determine the prevalence as well as the intra and inter-personal factors associated with smoking among upper secondary school students in selected schools in Peninsular Malaysia.

    METHODS: A study was carried out in 2013, which involved a total of 40 secondary schools. They were randomly selected using a two-stage clustering sampling method. Subsequently, all upper secondary school students (aged 16 to 17 years) from each selected school were recruited into the study. Data was collected using a validated standardised questionnaire.

    RESULTS: This study revealed that the prevalence of smoking was 14.6% (95% CI:13.3-15.9), and it was significantly higher among males compared to females (27.9% vs 2.4%, p 

  10. Lim KH, Ghazali SM, Lim HL, Kee CC, Cheah YK, Singh BSGP, et al.
    Tob Induc Dis, 2020;18:80.
    PMID: 33013276 DOI: 10.18332/tid/127231
    INTRODUCTION: Periodic surveys on tobacco use patterns and other aspects of tobacco use among school-going adolescents in Malaysia provide information on the effectiveness of anti-smoking measures implemented. However, such information is limited in Malaysia. We investigated the prevalence of smoking and other related aspects among middle-secondary school students in Malaysia from the years 2003-2016 to fill this gap.

    METHODS: We analyzed data from the Global Youth Tobacco Survey (GYTS) 2003, GYTS 2009, and the Tobacco and Electronic Cigarette Survey among Malaysia Adolescents (TECMA) 2016. The surveys employed multistage sampling to select representative samples of adolescents attending secondary school in Malaysia. Data were collected using a pre-validated self-administered anonymous questionnaire adopted from the GYTS.

    RESULTS: Between 2003 and 2016, major changes occurred in which there were reductions in the prevalence of ever smoking, current smoking, and susceptibility to smoking. Reductions were also observed in exposure to SHS in public places and in the home. The proportion of school-going adolescents who support a ban on smoking in public places increased between 2013 to 2016, and there was a significant reduction in the proportion of respondents that were offered 'free' cigarettes by tobacco company representatives. However, there was no difference in the proportion of adolescents who initiated smoking before the age of 10 years and current smokers seeking advice to quit smoking across the time period.

    CONCLUSIONS: Our study indicates that the smoking policies and measures have been effective in reducing smoking prevalence, secondhand smoke exposure, and access to cigarettes, among school-going adolescents in Malaysia. However, measures to reduce smoking initiation and increase smoking cessation need to be strengthened to reduce the burden of smoking-related diseases in Malaysia in the long-term.

  11. Lim KH, Teh CH, Heng PP, Pan S, Ling MY, Yusoff MFM, et al.
    Tob Induc Dis, 2018;16:51.
    PMID: 31516448 DOI: 10.18332/tid/96297
    INTRODUCTION: Understanding how and where youth obtain tobacco products are major factors in the development of suitable intervention programs to reduce youth smoking. This study aimed to determine the source of cigarettes and the associated factors among Malaysian school adolescent smokers.

    METHODS: Our sample consisted of 1348 youth aged 10-17 years who were current smokers (having smoked at least once in the last 30 days). The source of cigarettes (commercial, over-the-counter purchases; or social, borrowing or obtaining from someone else) was the dependent variable, and multivariable logistic regression was employed to determine its association with independent variables (i.e. sociodemographics, smoking behavior, and knowledge of laws prohibiting sales of cigarettes to youth).

    RESULTS: Over half (54.3%) of current smokers obtained cigarettes from commercial sources, with a proportion nearly two times higher (84.2% vs 43.7%) among frequent smokers (i.e. those smoking more than 20 days per month) compared to less-frequent smokers, and among young males (56.5% vs 32.0%) compared young females. Multivariable logistic regression indicated that in urban areas, young females (AOR=12.5, 95% CI: 1.38-99.8) frequent smokers (AOR=4.41, 95% CI: 2.05-9.46), and those studying in lower (AOR=3.76, 95% CI: 1.41-10.02) and upper secondary (AOR=4.74, 95% CI: 1.72-13.06) school students were more likely to obtain cigarettes from a commercial source. On the other hand, in rural areas, only frequent smokers were more likely to get their cigarettes from commercial sources, whilst other variables were not significant.

    CONCLUSIONS: The proportion of youth smokers who obtained cigarettes from commercial sources appeared to be high, suggesting that law enforcement and health promotion activities should be enhanced to reduce the rate of smoking among Malaysian youth.
  12. Chee Cheong K, Lim KH, Ghazali SM, Teh CH, Cheah YK, Baharudin A, et al.
    BMJ Open, 2021 08 18;11(8):e047849.
    PMID: 34408040 DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2020-047849
    OBJECTIVES: This study is aimed at determining the association between metabolic syndrome and risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) mortality and all-cause mortality among Malaysian adults.

    DESIGN: Retrospective cohort study.

    SETTING: The Malaysian Non-Communicable Disease Surveillance (MyNCDS-1) 2005/2006.

    PARTICIPANTS: A total of 2525 adults (1013 men and 1512 women), aged 24-64 years, who participated in the MyNCDS-1 2005/2006.

    METHODS: Participants' anthropometric indices, blood pressure, fasting lipid profile and fasting blood glucose levels were evaluated to determine the prevalence of metabolic syndrome by the Harmonized criteria. Participants' mortality status were followed up for 13 years from 2006 to 2018. Mortality data were obtained via record linkage with the Malaysian National Registration Department. The Cox proportional hazards regression model was applied to determine association between metabolic syndrome (MetS) and risk of CVD mortality and all-cause mortality with adjustment for selected sociodemographic and lifestyle behavioural factors.

    RESULTS: The overall point prevalence of MetS was 30.6% (95% CI: 28.0 to 33.3). Total follow-up time was 31 668 person-years with 213 deaths (111 (11.3%) in MetS subjects and 102 (6.1%) in non-MetS subjects) from all-causes, and 50 deaths (33 (2.9%) in MetS group and 17 (1.2%) in non-MetS group) from CVD. Metabolic syndrome was associated with a significantly increased hazard of CVD mortality (adjusted HR: 2.18 (95% CI: 1.03 to 4.61), p=0.041) and all-cause mortality (adjusted HR: 1.47 (95% CI: 1.00 to 2.14), p=0.048). These associations remained significant after excluding mortalities in the first 2 years.

    CONCLUSIONS: Our study shows that individuals with MetS have a higher hazard of death from all-causes and CVD compared with those without MetS. It is thus imperative to prescribe individuals with MetS, a lifestyle intervention along with pharmacological intervention to improve the individual components of MetS and reduce this risk.

  13. Lim KH, Teh CH, Nik Mohamed MH, Pan S, Ling MY, Mohd Yusoff MF, et al.
    BMJ Open, 2018 01 08;8(1):e017203.
    PMID: 29317411 DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2017-017203
    OBJECTIVES: Secondhand smoke (SHS) has been associated with increased morbidity and mortality. Therefore, the aims of the paper are to assess SHS exposure among non-smoking adults in Malaysia attending various smoking-restricted and non-restricted public areas according to the Control of Tobacco Product Regulations (CTPR) as well as its relationship with various sociodemographic variables.
    DESIGN: Data were extracted from a cross-sectional study, the Global Adults Tobacco Survey (GATS) 2011 which involved 3269 non-smokers in Malaysia. Data was obtained through face-to-face interviews using a validated pre-tested questionnaire. Factors associated with exposure to SHS were identified via multivariable analysis.
    RESULTS: The study revealed that almost two-thirds of respondents were exposed to SHS in at least one public area in the past 1 month, with a significantly higher exposure among males (70.6%), those with higher educational attainment (81.4%) and higher income (quintile 1%-73.9%). Besides, the exposure to SHS was almost four times higher in non-restricted areas compared with restricted areas under the CTPR (81.9% vs 22.9). Multivariable analysis revealed that males and younger adults at non-restricted areas were more likely to be exposed to SHS while no significant associated factors of SHS exposure was observed in restricted areas.
    CONCLUSIONS: The study revealed the prevalence of SHS exposure was higher among Malaysian adults. Although smoke-free laws offer protection to non-smokers from exposure to SHS, enforcement activities in restricted areas should be enhanced to ensure strict public abidance. In addition, legislation of restricted areas should also be extended to greatly reduce the SHS exposure among non-smokers in Malaysia.
    Study name: Global Adults Tobacco Survey (GATS-2011)
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