KUALA LUMPUR: The majority of Malaysians (93%) want the government to stop the supply of cheap contraband cigarettes.

A large percentage of parents (93%), teachers (98%), healthcare professionals (97%) and even smokers (88%) said in a survey that they would support the government in taking action to stop criminal elements from supplying cheap contraband cigarettes in the country.

$!Majority of Malaysians want illegal trade of cigarettes stopped: Survey

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These findings came from the Malaysian Perception of Smoking and Vaping Survey, a recent opinion poll conducted by Green Zebras, a leading market research company in Malaysia. In an effort to gain insight into what Malaysians think about cheap contraband cigarettes impacting the country, the poll also found that over half (61%) of those surveyed said that the government was not doing enough to prevent this serious problem.

In fact, 89% of all respondents believe that loss of tax revenue due to contraband cigarettes, amounting to over RM5 billion in 2018 (and likely to increase every year), is a grave problem to the Malaysian economy.

Managing director and cofounder of Green Zebras, Steve Murphy, said: “Our survey shows 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.”

“Unfortunately, many felt that the government is not doing enough to address this problem. Its lack of action has led Malaysians to believe that the problem can only get worse in the foreseeable future.”

The survey encompassed 1,010 Malaysian adults and is reflective of the perception of all Malaysian adults across Peninsular Malaysia.