More restrictions on smoking may backfire

The dangers of smoking cigarettes are well known. The Government has taken nearly every conceivable action to discourage smoking.

Yet, people continue to smoke.

We need to ask ourselves if creating further legislation against smoking will, in fact, encourage the habit.

Raising the smoking age may backfire, as it may make smoking "cool" among youngsters, thus encouraging them to take up the habit.

I appreciate Mr Ang Ah Lay's proposal to restrict the number of shops selling tobacco products ("Reduce number of shops selling cigarettes"; Forum Online, Jan 24).

However, this may, in fact, hurt small shops, as it restricts them from selling a product that brings in a significant portion of their revenue.

Questions on who will or will not get a licence to sell tobacco could incentivise the breaking of the law, as licence-holders do more to milk the value of the licence.

Issues like these need to be addressed.

Rather than create new restrictions, better enforcement and creating alternatives for smokers will be a more effective way to deal with the issue of smoking.

Tang Li