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Ending the tobacco scourge

18 Feb 2017

Professor Chia Kee Seng, Dean of the NUS Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health and Dr Kenneth Warner is Avedis Donabedian Distinguished University Professor of Public Health at the Michigan School of Public Health, University of Michigan have raised the alarm bells on the increase in tobacco-related deaths.

Smoking kills approximately six million people a year, and one tenth of those deaths are from inhaling second-hand smoke. Even with government intervention with tobacco control measures like public education on the harmful effects, taxation, control of sales and advertising, the death toll persists. Most worryingly of all is that the younger generation continues to pick up smoking.  There is a need to increase the legal age for the purchase, possession and use of tobacco and related products as evidence suggests that “brain development continues till 25 years of age, and the areas responsible for decision-making, impulse control, sensation seeking and future perspective taking continue to develop later on into adulthood.”

Prof Chia and Dr Kenneth Warner have both stated that in tobacco control, there is no “single element works in isolation to reduce smoking prevalence. Rather, it is the combined effect of multiple tobacco measures that will curb smoking habits and, more importantly, prevent the younger generation from ever picking up the habit.” 

 

Media Coverage:

  • The Straits Times, 18 February 2017

 

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