Although some research suggests that vaping is less harmful than smoking cigarettes, it can still be harmful to one’s health and has been considered haram in Malaysia since 2015. However, that has never stopped anyone from owning e-cigarettes as they’re technically not illegal in the country.
It’s always concerning whenever we see youth, especially teenagers, vape in public spaces. Speaking of concerns, Public Health Malaysia shared a claim about vaping among women but netizens’ opinions are torn over the post.
Recently, Public Health Malaysia posted what seems to be a PSA about the number of e-cigarette users on its social media. The post showed a mock Whatsapp conversation between 2 individuals where the one vaping was portrayed as a hijabi woman. “There is an increase in new users of e-cigarettes among women who have never used tobacco products before,” the caption reads. The tweet further stated that hijabi women vaping is a common sight nowadays.
The Twitter post quickly went viral, now reaching over 740k views, and almost 1.2k quote tweets. However, the reaction to the post has been mixed as it has been interpreted differently by netizens. Many criticised the online health advocate and accused them of being sexist as the photo and captions allegedly suggested that only men are allowed to smoke or vape.
Others recommended that the PSA should not be a gendered issue as vaping and smoking are harmful to everybody. Those on Facebook, however, praised Public Health Malaysia for bringing awareness to the social issue and agreed that women, especially Muslims, should not smoke or vape.
At the time of writing, Public Health Malaysia has yet to respond to both positive and negative receptions of the vape post. But, one thing’s for certain. It did spark conversations among netizens! Perhaps that was the goal. Either way, if the post was to get people’s attention about vaping among women then it has definitely served its purpose.
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