Pledging to make KL smoke-free

Some people show blatant disregard by smoking right next to no-smoking signs. - Filepic

KUALA Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) aims to reduce the prevalence of smoking in the city as part of its latest initiative to create a Smoke-Free Kuala Lumpur.

The initiative was launched today as part of the Partnership For Healthy Cities, a global network of cities committed to reducing non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and injuries.

According to studies conducted under the National Health Morbidity Survey 2015, the prevalence of smoking in Kuala Lumpur is about 19.1%.

The city’s newly launched initiative aims to reduce this number and help educate non-smokers on the risks associated with second-hand smoke.

To realise this objective, DBKL will work with the Health Ministry, restaurant associations and other key organisations to boost enforcement of existing smoking restrictions.

DBKL will also raise public awareness on the risks of smoking and second-hand smoke through billboard and poster campaigns, which have already begun with a series of billboards and LED signs installed in prominent public spaces.

“The Partnership For Healthy Cities unites mayors who are committed to helping their citizens live healthier lives and to reduce NCDs and injuries,” said World Health Organisation (WHO) Global Ambassador for NCDs and former New York City mayor Michael R. Bloomberg.

“The actions these mayors take can prevent millions of needless deaths and protect the health of generations to come, while making their cities stronger and more prosperous.”

The city will also work together with Bloomberg Philanthropies and implementing partner Vital Strategies to deploy proven solutions to save lives and improve environments where people live, work and play.

NCDs — which include cardiovascular diseases, cancer, diabetes and chronic respiratory diseases — and traffic-related injuries kill 44 million people globally each year, accounting for about 80% of global deaths.

With the majority of the world’s population now living in urban settings, cities are uniquely positioned to transform the fight against diseases and injuries by implementing policies to significantly reduce exposure to risk factors.

The Partnership For Healthy Cities is an 18-month initiative that was announced in May 2017 where each city pledges to enact one of 10 proven policies identified by WHO as effective in protecting people from exposure to NCDs and injury risk factors.

By taking part in this global initiative, Kuala Lumpur has gained access to a global network of city leaders and public health experts working towards the same goals, along with a seed grant to jumpstart the local effort.

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