HomeNews EventsNewsDenormalising tobacco use to stamp out smoking in Singapore

Denormalising tobacco use to stamp out smoking in Singapore

03 Jan 2019

(Image from Unsplash. Photo by Amritanshu Sikdar)

In recent years, Singapore has ramped up its measures to drive down the smoking rate, including banning point-of-sale display, increasing excise taxes and prices, banning alternative tobacco products, and proposing standardised packaging for all tobacco products.

Joining this slew of measures with effect from 1 January 2019 are the country’s first precinct-wide smoking ban along Orchard Road, and the raising of the minimum legal age to smoke from 18 to 19.

Vice Dean (Research), Associate Professor Alex Cook, said there is clear evidence linking smoking bans to improved cardiovascular health outcomes and fewer deaths from smoking-related illnesses. The greatest health effects of a ban are also likely to result from a denormalisation of cigarette use.

Dean, Professor Teo Yik Ying, added that the suite of tobacco control measures are meant to work as a package to target three groups in the population: non-smokers, smokers who aim to kick the habit, and smokers who presently have no intention to quit.

“With a slew of measures making it harder for one to light up or start smoking, Singapore appears to be systematically denormalising tobacco use as a habit, and painting it as a socially unacceptable and undesirable activity,” added Prof Teo.

What more needs to be done for Singapore to achieve its long-term ‘smoke-free’ vision? Read more:

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