CAP expresses concern over youths picking up smoking habit

The Consumers' Association of Penang (CAP) has urged the government to expedite efforts to eradicate smoking habit amongst Malaysians, especially youths. - NSTP File picThe Consumers’ Association of Penang (CAP) has urged the government to expedite efforts to eradicate smoking habit amongst Malaysians, especially youths. – NSTP File pic

GEORGE TOWN: The Consumers’ Association of Penang (CAP) has urged the government to expedite efforts to eradicate smoking habit amongst Malaysians, especially youths.

Its president Mohideen Abdul Kader said the trend of youths picking up smoking was worrying, especially with the introduction of e-cigarettes and vapes which they have found to be appealing.

A CAP survey last year found that school children are also into vaping and were even engaged in selling e-liquid for e-cigarette devices.

It also revealed that about 10 per cent of the smokers were aged below 19, and 30 per cent were below 40 years of age.

“Smoking has been made into an illusion that it can overcome stress and also portrays men as macho, but we are worried youngsters even in primary school are now taking up the habit.

“Youths, instead of spending their limited pocket money on food and other necessities, are fond of spending on cigarettes and e-cigarettes. This should be the time when they are fed with proper nutrition, not nicotine addiction,” he told NST in an interview here today.

Mohideen was speaking in conjunction with World No Tobacco Day on Sunday.

He said that though the government reacted well to curb the smoking habit in the last 10 years, more needs to be done to ensure future generations do not pick up the habit.

He urged Putrajaya to introduce and enforce a standalone Tobacco Control Act to replace the Control of Tobacco Product Regulations 1993 which has been placed under Food Act 1983.

With a new act, he said the government could control the distribution of both cigarettes and e-cigarettes to youngsters to limit their accessibility to purchase it.

At school level, he said the Education Ministry should also include a module on impact of smoking to one’s health in the Civic course to educate students.

Parents, on the other hand, should also quit the habit.

“Without reining in the industry, it would be impossible to reduce the RM7.4 billion needed by the government to treat major smoking-related diseases by the year 2025.

“There are approximately five million smokers in the country and every year 20,000 of them die from more than 30-smoking related diseases.

“Without us realising it, future generations contributing to the country could decline and even cripple our economy and industry,” he added.

Also present was CAP education officer N.V. Subbarow.

By Mohamed Basyir.

Read more @ https://www.nst.com.my/news/nation/2020/05/596519/cap-expresses-concern-over-youths-picking-smoking-habit

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