KUALA LUMPUR: More than 20,000 homes nationwide are now free of second-hand cigarette smoke, says Datuk Seri Rina Harun.
The Woman, Family and Community Development Minister said the move was in line with the National Strategic Plan on Tobacco Control 2015-2020.
"To deal with the scourge of second-hand smoke from parents, the strategic plan included the Home Free From Smoking programme which will be widened through the help of non-governmental organisations.
"Based on Health Ministry records, a total of 24,290 homes have registered as a Home Free From Smoking to date," she said when answering a question by Fuziah Salleh (PH-Kuantan) in Dewan Rakyat on Monday (Nov 23).
She added that the National Population and Family Development Board so is also working with the Health Ministry to develop counselling guidelines at 18 of the ministry's Kafe@TEEN youth centres.
"The goal of the guidelines is to teach youth to lead a healthy lifestyle without cigarettes and become agents of change for their parents who smoke," she said.
Fuziah noted that studies have shown that almost half of all school children have parents who smoke, with some households spending an average of RM510 a month on cigarettes.
She wanted to know if the government would implement an incentive reward programme for those who quit smoking such as in the United States.
To this, Rina said that there are no plans to introduce an incentive reward programme to help smokers quit.
Instead, she said the Ministry would continue to rely on education and awareness to help curb smoking among Malaysians.
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