Anti-smoking drive review


  • Nation
  • Wednesday, 27 Apr 2005

PUTRAJAYA: The Government will review the anti-smoking Tak Nak campaign following various complaints, including that it did not have direction. 

Health Minister Datuk Dr Chua Soi Lek said there were also criticisms over the lack of counselling for those who had quit smoking during the campaign. 

“Questions such as 'where do we go from here' or the effectiveness of the campaign are not answered. 

“Similarly, once smokers give up the habit like we told them to, we don’t know the follow-up action to that.” 

In light of this, the Cabinet had agreed to review the second phase of the Tak Nak campaign, he told reporters after launching the Jom Kayuh cycling campaign at his ministry here yesterday. 

There had also been reports, added Dr Chua, that the giant billboards advertising the campaign were actually counter-productive.  

STAYING HEALTHY: Dr Chua (foreground) pedalling away with senior ministry officials andrepresentatives from sponsoring companies after launching the cycling campaignin Putrajaya yesterday.

“These billboards are placed at locations where there is a lot of traffic and many drivers said they don’t even dare look at or read them as they might get into accidents. 

“We found that television advertisements are the most effective in bringing across the message,” he said. 

He said the review would also enable the ministry to get the actual figures of smokers who had quit as a result of the campaign. 

Dr Chua said the campaign would continue during the review, which would take about a month to complete. 

“We are thinking of bringing community leaders like non-governmental bodies, schools, Members of Parliament and the visitors' boards of local clinics and hospitals into the campaign,” he said. 

On another matter, Dr Chua said the Cabinet had also directed the ministry to come up with different dietary schedules of healthy food to suit the affordability of the various social classes in the country. 

“For instance, we want to draw up guidelines on healthy food for the poor to let them know that they don’t have to fork out much for good nutrition,” he said.  

On the Jom Kayuh campaign, Dr Chua said a group of cyclists from the ministry would go on a month-long trip, beginning on May 14, around the country to advise people on the benefits of a healthy lifestyle.  

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