Very hard to kick the smoking habit

Concerned: (From left) Dr Zailan and Dr Hilmi taking a look at a display during the state level World No Tobacco Day show at the Penang Youth Centre in Acheh Street.

ONLY 18% of smokers who went for rehabilitation programmes at 480 rehabilitation clinics in the country succeeded in kicking the habit for good.

Deputy Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Hilmi Yahaya said that while many expressed their support for non-smoking environment, smokers were finding it difficult to kick the habit.

“Based on a survey by Cigarette Smoke-Free Penang (Penbar) involving 3,268 respondents, 94.9% preferred to dine at a cigarette smoke-free eatery, 95.2% preferred to stay in a cigarette smoke-free hotel and 90.9% supported the cigarette smoke-free policy in the George Town heritage enclave.

“An estimated 23% of Malaysians are smokers,” he told a press conference after launching the state-level World No Tobacco Day 2015 at the Penang Youth Centre in Acheh Street recently.

At the event, Penbar also launched their latest anti-smoking campaign dubbed ‘Love us, don’t smoke’.

The campaign is aimed at conveying the message to smokers, not to smoke without thinking of the harm it brings to their loved ones.

State Health Department director Datuk Dr Zailan Adnan said more than 600,000 non-smokers died worldwide every year due to passive smoking, after being exposed to cigarette smoke.

“It is also alarming that an average of 50 to 60 youths pick up the smoking habit daily.

“Studies by the Health Ministry and other institutions found that more youths are taking up smoking annually,” she said in her speech.

There were also various activities held at the venue which began from 7am.

Among the activities were cycling for health, Penbarobik, trishaw makeover competition, passport to smoke-free George Town, health exhibition, health screening and others.

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