Place anti-smoking ads on cigarette dispenser

When I speak to at-risk youngsters who are smokers, they tell me that they know smoking is an unacceptable habit, but they are defiant and do not care, as they do not think it will affect their wellness in the future.

Most are unaware of the health issues and what happens when their lungs are perpetually smoked out.

Hence, I suggest that NTUC FairPrice revise its cigarette dispenser idea and place the following montage of images on the machine, to enhance the effort to reduce tobacco use ("Tobacco display ban: FairPrice pilots opaque dispenser"; March 17):

• A young person smoking, with the caption, "So what? My parents give me enough to buy cigarettes for my friends and me".

• An older man with a hole in his throat for breathing assistance, with the phrase, "I would not have started smoking had I known what I would have to suffer".

• The wrinkled face of a wife who suffered the effects of second-hand smoke, saying: "I have no choice, as my spouse is a chain-smoker and won't stop."

• Toddlers saying: "We are happy that papa stopped smoking, as he didn't want us to follow in his footsteps" or "He is a good papa, concerned about our health".

The target audience is not die-hard smokers or those who do not think their health is at risk. The aim is to raise awareness among young people who have not been introduced to smoking, or who would like to experiment with it.

Vivien Tan (Mrs)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 31, 2016, with the headline 'Place anti-smoking ads on cigarette dispenser'. Print Edition | Subscribe