I couldn’t agree more with Dr Chia Kee Seng’s commentary, “Singapore should aim to be smoke-free, not just smoke-lite,” (Oct 5).
Smoking is a vile habit that can have fatal consequences. Even the tobacco companies no longer deny that their products kill. Governments around the world are right to make it difficult for tobacco products to be sold.
The dangers to health caused by smoking is well-known and have been drilled into the public over the years. The literature on the ill effects of smoking is more readily available now than before.
So what else can you tell people that they do not already know?
Just as it has been popular to talk about being “tough on crime and the causes of crime”, perhaps we should look at doing the same for smoking.
Find ways to reduce smoking by looking at why people smoke.
Offer them alternatives, to take up more physical or outdoor activities, for instance. There is enough science to show that exercise reduces the harmful effects of smoking.
Earlier this year, the Independent newspaper in the United Kingdom reported that Iceland had found a way to reduce drinking, smoking, and substance abuse among teens — by making physical activity more available so they can get a “natural high”.
Are there more opportunities for our youth to exercise?