Smoking in Singapore

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Submitted By thiangwt
Words 327
Pages 2
Singapore’s smoking prevalence is among the lowest in the world. Concerted efforts of our National Smoking Control Programme since the 1970s, have reduced our smoking prevalence from above 25% to below 14% currently. 2 However, this still means that about 360,000 Singaporeans smoke. Our age-specific smoking prevalence exceeds 10% for all age groups, from 18 to 69, peaking at 17% for those aged 18 to 29 years. Men are 6 times more likely to smoke than women. The age-specific male smoking prevalence exceeds 20% for all age groups from 18 to 69. There is a significant racial difference. Malays’ smoking prevalence is more than double that of Chinese or Indians. Malay men aged 30 – 39 years, have the highest smoking prevalence of 49%, as compared to 19% for Chinese and 12% for Indians. Fortunately, our female smoking prevalence is low, at single digit percentage, except for young Malay ladies (14%). But more than half of women smokers are below 29 years old and their smoking rate has risen sharply from 5% in 1998 to 9% in 2007.3 Hence, we must not be complacent in our anti-smoking drive. Current measures include keeping tobacco taxation high, frequent review and timely update of tobacco control legislation, banning smoking in public places, providing effective smoking cessation services and actively educating Singaporeans on the dangers of smoking.4 In particular, our current campaign has targeted youth and young working adults, including young ladies, with messages disseminated through popular youth activities, like sports and music. 5 We have also ongoing campaign targeting Malay men, which is in its 6th year, with reasonable success among its participants. 6 Behavioural change, unfortunately, is never easy. Smokers know that cigarettes are harmful but they still smoke. We will continue to step up targeted education programmes and try out more effective ways…...

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