Entrepreneur

A Smoker Since Primary School, He Believes His Product Can Get 1 Mil M'sians To Quit Smoking

Nasty Juice is an award-winning Malaysian vape juice brand founded by Shariffuddin Bujang (nicknamed Pakdin) and Azizul Ridzuan.

With a presence in 72 countries, the founders could have been happy to keep developing the products and brand, but Pakdin found that something was a bit off.

“We sell alternative products to quit smoking i.e. vape. But I am still smoking and it’s hard to quit,” he said.

A smoker since he was in elementary school, he was aware that alternative products to quit smoking are not a new thing.

However, he found that none were effective.

For 12 months, he and his team invested time and money into developing prototypes for a type of e-cigarette that would get the users off normal cigarettes.

The result was NCIG, which he proudly claims was 100% developed in Tampin.

Breaking The Habit

Pakdin names himself as NCIG’s first user, because, “If I do not use it or am dissatisfied with the product, why should I sell it to others?”

He told us that has NCIG helped him to stop smoking for over a year.

According to the team, they built the device to feel like a cigarette in the hands of users. They also claim that the NCIG’s nicotine satisfaction delivery is superior to the cigarette.

An NCIG starter kit costs RM150, and a pack of 4 flavoured pod cartridges costs RM45.

The team also put thought into the 6 available flavours, which they say enables cigarette users to adapt to the NCIG quicker.

Image Credit: NCIG

Within a first month of launch, NCIG told us that they’ve attracted 30,000 users.

This popularity came with some challenges, which the team had to work to solve. For instance, they ran out of stock because of the response. Facebook and Instagram also blocked direct access to NCIG’s website, which the team blamed on “less ethical actions of some competitors in the Malaysian market”.

The team has big dreams in mind for their product. They told us that they are currently awaiting the approval of the authorities and universities that conduct research on materials used by NCIG.

“As soon as all these issues are over, we can focus on achieving the ultimate goal in the Malaysian market of helping 1,000,000 smokers to quit smoking.”

Reaching The Right Audience

One common question faced by vapes and e-cigarettes is this: isn’t replacing vaping for smoking just substituting one evil for another?

Proponents will tell you that e-cigarettes have less toxins and chemicals compared to cigarettes, and that they’re less harmful overall.

However, medical experts generally believe that the jury is still out on the health benefits of vaping over smoking, particularly since it hasn’t been possible to do any long-term case studies (because of the newness of the products).

Other than that, the effectiveness of quitting smoking by taking up e-cigarettes hasn’t been proven in a definitive study. There has been evidence that it has helped some people, but there’s another darker side to e-cigarettes.

A 2018 study ran a simulation model on US citizens in 2014, and these are their figures and estimates:

  • 2,070 current cigarette smoking adults would quit smoking thanks to e-cigarettes, but
  • 168,000 adolescents who’d never smoked before would pick up e-cigarettes and progress to smoking after.

The numbers don’t look good for overall population health.

It’s hard not to see why teens might be drawn to the sophisticated and frankly, attractive branding commonly adopted by some e-cigarette and vape brands.

Some of the images NCIG uses for marketing /Image Credit: NCIG

We took these questions to NCIG, who said, “NCIG discourages people who don’t smoke to not pick up the NCIG whatsoever, similar to our stance to underage use. Hence you will find that on our packaging, we clearly discourage both scenarios.”

They also detailed some other preventions they’ve put in place, such as, “Our packaging has been designed to appeal to the mature crowd of cigarette users only. This is why we always encourage the line of wanting to quit”.

They also said that non-cigarettes users will find their product too harsh.

“Its delivery system is designed to give the same sensation a cigarette does, thus being too harsh for a non-cigarette user, immediately discouraging the use of the NCIG to a non-smoker.”

For now, without proper data and studies, it’s hard to come to a proper conclusion about the product, but NCIG is confident that they can and will help heavy smokers forget their cigarettes.

  • You can find out more about NCIG on their website here.

 

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