According to foreign news reports, more than 80 practitioners participated in the 11th National Conference on Addiction Medicine (11thNatCAM) organized by the Malaysian Association of Addiction Medicine (AMAM) and the Federation of Malaysian Private Medical Practitioners Association (FPMPAM) on May 23. .
The 11th NatCAM specifically discussed various issues related to addiction and its treatment during the COVID-19 pandemic era.
Experts and practitioners working on zero basis in the field of addiction diseases have been warning about the current substance use problems of adolescents and young people, which were ignored during this pandemic.
Among them, the NatCAM meeting discussed potential health problems related to e-cigarettes and e-cigarettes.
AMAM and FPMPAM will jointly support access to smoking cessation services through a program to train general practitioners to help those who wish to quit smoking.
According to the 2019 National Health and Morbidity Survey (NHMS) of the Malaysian Ministry of Health (MOH), the prevalence rate of smokers in Malaysia is 21.3%, which is equivalent to 4.9 million Malaysians. The report further estimates that more than 27,200 Malaysians die each year related to smoking.
Dr Steven Chow (pix), chairman of the Malaysian Association of Addiction Medicine (AMAM), said that we know that more than 50% of smokers in Malaysia are eager to quit smoking. As doctors, we have a responsibility to help them quit smoking.
The concept of harm reduction is a key first step in solving this problem.
"By definition, tobacco control's harm reduction methods encourage smokers who are unable or unwilling to quit smoking to switch to the less harmful form of nicotine, which will ideally lead them to quit smoking altogether."
"People smoke because they are addicted to nicotine, but other toxins in tobacco smoke are responsible for most of the harm. Nicotine can be obtained from a range of products. The harm and addiction levels of these products vary from the range of harm. The smoking tobacco at the top to the nicotine replacement therapy product at the bottom.".
Although there are various nicotine replacement therapy products, the most widely used and controversial products in Malaysia are e-cigarette products, and to some extent, there are smokeless tobacco products such as snuff.
The latest Cochrane e-cigarette cessation review studies 50 studies from the United States, the United Kingdom, Italy, Australia, New Zealand, Greece, Belgium, Canada, Poland, South Korea, South Africa, Switzerland, and Turkey. The main findings are the combination of nicotine replacement therapy, Compared with nicotine-free e-cigarettes or behavioral support, smokers can quit smoking by switching to nicotine-containing e-cigarettes within 6 months.
The meeting called for increased public and professional participation to study the problem of reducing the harm of tobacco. Through long-term research, reducing the harm of tobacco can be a pragmatic way to reduce the harm of smoking-related diseases.