“Breaking Barriers: Advancing Tobacco Control & Nicotine Addiction Treatment”

On the 30th September 2023, the Nicotine Addiction Research Collaborating Group (NARCC), Universiti Malaya Centre of Addiction Sciences (UMCAS) in collaboration with the National Cancer Society of Malaysia (NCSM) successfully convened a one full-day conference at the Wyndham Grand Bangsar Hotel, Kuala Lumpur. The theme Breaking Barriers: Advancing Tobacco Control and Nicotine Addiction Treatment aptly encapsulates the forum on The Generational Endgame as well as the two symposiums: novel as well as optimal approaches for smoking cessation & tobacco prevention and advocacy.

Associate Professor Dr Amer Siddiq Amer Nordin, Chairperson KLNAC 2023 International Conference welcomed all distinguished participants and speakers and the KLNAC 2023 International Conference was enthusiastically declared opened by Associate Professor Dr Rusdi Abd Rashid, Director of Universiti Malaya Centre for Addiction Science Studies (UMCAS) who emphasized that Universiti Malaya plays a vital role to strengthening tobacco control strategies in Malaysia and while working towards The Generational Endgame (GEG) and that the Nicotine Addiction Research Collaborating Group (NARCC), Universiti Malaya Centre of Addiction Sciences (UMCAS) continuously supports such an essential endeavour to promote sharing and knowledge-based findings from a team of dedicated academics and professionals since its inception in 2009.

Associate Professor Dr. Murallitharan Munisamy, Managing Director of NCSM passionately kickstarted the conference with plenary 1 on Tobacco Control: A Public Health Crusade or Government Revenue Strategy. Followed by an informative session at plenary 2 by Professor Dr Wee Lei Hum, Faculty of Health & Medical Sciences, School of Medicine, Taylor’s University on The Therapeutic Edge: Unveiling the Key Role in Psychotherapy in Quitting Smoking.

During the morning tea break, rapid-fire presentations were conducted concurrently. Rapid fire presentations:

A lively forum discussion on The Generational Endgame: Transforming Smoking Prevalence for Future Generations was moderated by Dr Murallitharan Munisamy, Managing Director of NCSM. KLNAC 2023 were very fortunate to have esteemed panel members: Professor Dr Christopher Bullen, Director, National Institute for Health Innovation (NIHI), University of Auckland, President, Society for Research on Nicotine & Tobacco (SRNT), Mrs Roslizawati Mohd Ali, President, MyWatch Malaysia and Dr Azrul Mohd Khalib, Chief Executive Officer, Galen Centre for Health & Social Policy for The Generational Endgame Forum.

In the afternoon, the conference broke out into 2 symposiums: Tobacco Prevention & Advocacy and Smoking Cessation sponsored by Kenvue for Healthcare Professionals.

At the Tobacco Prevention and Advocacy Symposium, there were 3 exciting sessions:

Session 1: Vape (2:00 pm – 3:00 pm)

The Pros and Cons of Nicotine Legalisation
Mr Edmund Bon Tai Soon
AmerBON Advocate
Vaping and Health: Debunking Myths, Revealing Realities
Dr Megat Mohamad Amirul Amzar Megat Hashim
Family Medicine Specialist
University Malaya Medical Centre

Session 2: Tobacco Control Monitoring in Malaysia (3:00 pm – 4:00 pm)

Malaysia – International Tobacco Control Study
Associate Professor Dr Farizah Mohd Hairi
Public Health Consultant, Universiti Malaya
National Health Morbidity Survey
Dr Muhammad Fadhli Mohd Yusof
Public Health Physician
Institute for Public Health, MoH
Kesihatan Oral Tanpa Amalan Merokok (KOTAK)
Dr Jamaliah Omar
Deputy Director, Oral Health Promotion
Section, MoH

Session 3: Innovation through Integration (4:00 pm – 4:45 pm)

Multidisciplinary Approaches in Effective Tobacco Control
Dr Anne Yee Hway Ann
Senior Consultant and Addiction
Psychiatrist, KPJ Puteri Specialist Hospital

At the Smoking Cessation Conference:

Session 1: Smoking Cessation Landscape & Global Efforts (2:10 pm – 2:40 pm)
Broadening Accessibility of Quit Smoking Aids – The Way Forward
Prof Dr Christopher Bullen
Director, National Institute for Health
Innovation (NIHI)
University of Auckland
Session 2: Healthcare Professionals Interventions (2:40 pm – 3:10 pm)
Perspectives & Utilization of Champions To Provide Smoking Cessation Interventions
Associate Professor Dr. Amer Siddiq Amer Nordin
Consultant Psychiatrist & Addiction
Medicine Specialist
Session 3: Novel Therapeutic Approach (3:10 pm – 4:10 pm)
A New Way to Quit Smoking – Clinical Efficacy of NRT Oromucosal Spray
Dr Philip TØnnesen
Senior Consultant, Søernes Private Hospital
Session 4: Optimising smoking cessation and NRT use in clinical practice (4:10 pm – 4:40 pm)
Clinical Experience with NRT Oromucosal Spray in Singapore
Associate Prof Dr Philip Eng
Senior Consultant Respiratory & ICU
Physician, Mt Elizabeth Medical Centre
Panel Discussion
Photo Session

At the closing ceremony, 3 proud winners from the 9 Rapid Fire Oral presentation were announced:

1st place: Zarwina Yusoff
Affiliation: PhD Candidate, Faculty of Computer Science & Information Technology, Universiti Malaya
Member, Nicotine Addiction Research Collaborating Centre (NARCC), University of MalayaTitle of presentation: Can Smoking Cessation Apps help smokers to quit smoking?: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

2nd place: Dr.Muhamad Hairul Nizam bin Abd Hamid
Affiliation: Senior Principal Assistant Director, Disease Control Division, MOH
Title of presentation: Perception of Malaysia Students Towards Implementation of Generational Endgame (GEG)

3rd place: Dr Takdir Singh Riar
Affiliation: Klinik Kesihatan Tanglin

Associate Professor Dr. Amer Siddiq Amer Nordin, Chairman of KLNAC 2023 Conference thanked all conference delegates, esteemed speakers and committee members for making KLNAC 2023 a great success as well as welcomed Asia Pacific on Tobacco or Health (APACT) 2024.

This report was prepared by Ina Sharyn Kamaludin and Associate Professor Dr Farizah Mohd Hairi. Photographs by Muhammad Haizril Arif Bin Md Mokhtar, Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Universiti Malaya.

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