Anti-Tobacco Drive Targets Young Smokers

Bandar Seri Begawan – Tobacco-related deaths are increasing in developed and developing countries with 2.4 million deaths in 2000, according to The Tobacco Atlas, World Health Organisation.

Unless young people do not take up smoking and current users quit, tobacco may kill one billion people in the 21st century.

This was highlighted by speaker Dr Sallehuddin bin Abu Bakar, Director of City Hall, Kuala Lumpur, Health Department Malaysia, in his presentation at the Quit Smoking Counseling Workshop 2011 organised by the Ministry of Health held yesterday at the Health Promotion Centre in Berakas.

Dr Sallehuddin Abu Bakar, a speaker from Malaysia, delivering his presentation

Dr Sallehuddin Abu Bakar, a speaker from Malaysia, delivering his presentation

According to him based on annual US Deaths Attributable to Smoking 1997-2001, a total of 437,902 deaths were reported annually due to smoking. He said 31 per cent or 137,979 deaths were due to cardiovascular diseases, lung cancer 28 per cent (123,836), respiratory diseases 23 per cent (101,454), second-hand smoke nine per cent (38,112), cancers other than lung eight per cent (34,693) and others one per cent or 1,828 deaths due to smoking.

He said world average cigarette consumption per capita among those who smoke is estimated at 15 a day.

This is equal to about six trillion cigarettes a year. Smoking prevalence is declining in developed countries but increasing in developing countries.

Smoking rates are declining among adults but increasing among young people.

Worldwide, an estimated 82,000-99,000 young people start smoking every day.

There are 1.25 billion smokers worldwide.

Some 80 participants comprising staff of Ministry of Health attended the workshop to enhance their knowledge and skills to help smokers to quit smoking as well as enhance the participants’ knowledge of the tobacco laws and tobacco control initiative in the country.

The workshop also aimed to enhance communication skills while giving advice to smokers who wish to quit smoking as well as provide information on the dangers of smoking and services provided to help smokers to quit smoking.

The workshop was also attended by Dr Hjh Maslina binti Hj Mohsin, Director ‘of Health Services.

The Quit Smoking Counseling Workshop was held in conjunction with “World No Tobacco Day” which is celebrated on May 31 each year to emphasise health risks related to tobacco use and to support effective policy to reduce tobacco use.

The Ministry of Health will continue to implement enforcement operations, including issuing compound fines to those found smoking in no-smoking areas under the Tobacco Order 2005 and Regulation 2007.

The Ministry of Health also opened a Smoking Cessation Clinic aimed at decreasing the number of smokers in the country through the provision of smoking cessation support to smokers who wish to give up smoking.


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