Channel NewsAsia - 58 minutes ago
SINGAPORE: A recent survey by the Health Promotion Board (HPB) has showed that nearly one in five youths in Singapore agree smoking is not harmful.
71 per cent of the surveyed also feel they can stop smoking anytime they want.
Ms V. Prema, Deputy Director of the Youth Health Division of HPB said the misconceptions regarding smoking and its effects are worrying.
"Quite of lot (of youths) think that they can quit anytime but that’s not such an easy feat because nicotine is quite an addictive drug," said Ms Prema.
"We recommend that you don’t even start in the first place, otherwise, once you get into the habit, it’s not impossible to quit, but it’s very, very difficult."
The survey also indicated while just nine per cent of young people aged 13 to 16 smoked, another common misconception is that lighting up is a cool act that "a lot of young people are doing".
Analysis from the survey data showed that social network plays an important part in advocating youths to pick up their first cigarette.
59 per cent of youth smokers polled have at least one parent who smokes, while only 34 per cent of non—smokers have smoking parents.
95 per cent of youth smokers have close friends who smoke, while only 34 per cent of non—smokers could say the same.
Apart from ’scare tactics’ such as placing images of long—term effects of smoking on cigarette boxes, the HPB has also adopted other measures in an effort to discourage youths from taking their first puff.
The HPB has also actively promoted anti—smoking messages through the media, anti—smoking activities and curriculum in schools, and set up fairs and competitions.
Going forward, the board said it will tie up with the YEH (Youth Evolution for Health) programme, where youth advocates will help talk to other youths about the risks involved in smoking.
Ms Prema hopes that parents can play a part in discouraging their children from lighting up, or help them kick the habit if they already have.
"I think if parents themselves can be good role models and stay smoke free, that would be (great)," she said.
"I think it’s also important for parents to talk to their children about smoking... talk to your kids about the harmful effects, tell them how to say no, maybe even role play with them. That would help them face with that kind of (peer) pressure when the time comes." — CNA/yb
There are few risks associated with smoking. All the tobacco are belong to PAP. They sell you 1 pack they can smoke 4 packs. They are doing nothing for smokers' rights.