Malaysian Indians least likely to kick the butt: Study

Kuala Lumpur, Feb 6 (IANS) Malaysian Indians are least likely to quit smoking compared to the Chinese or the Malays, a study has revealed.

The Chinese, if male, married and motivated, top the chart, according to the research.

The Chinese male is four times more motivated than a Malay and six times more motivated than an Indian.

Men have done better. Women are ‘too emotionally attached to cigarettes’, says the study.

Multi-racial Malaysia is home to majority Malays. The Chinese form about a quarter of the 28 million population, while ethnic Indians, estimated at 2.1 million, account for eight percent.

The research conducted by Universiti Malaya, University College London (UCL) and the health ministry was to find out why some smokers successfully quit while others couldn’t.

One in every two adult males in Malaysia is a smoker and puffs an average of more than 12 cigarettes a day, New Straits Times reported Sunday.

The success rate in getting people to quit smoking has been only 34 percent.

The study was entitled ‘Motivation process in smokers attending quit smoking clinics in Malaysia’.

‘We want to understand why some smokers could quit and others couldn’t because we cannot target intervention programmes if we do not understand,’ said Awang Bulgiba Awang Mahmud, deputy dean (undergraduate and diploma programmes), Faculty of Medicine, Universiti Malaya.

The study included 200 smokers who attended five of the most active quit smoking clinics.

Most of the respondents were around 35 years of age and educated professionals.

‘The study found there was a higher chance of men quitting smoking than women. This is because women are more emotionally attached to their cigarettes,’ said Awang.

The study also found that married smokers were more likely to successfully quit.

‘If they are married, they are three times more likely to successfully quit than those who are single. But if the spouse of the smoker also smokes, then it will be more difficult,’ he said.

According to the study, those who smoked to cope with stress were less likely to successfully quit. However, those who smoked to cope with boredom were more likely to succeed.

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