Restrict sale of cigarettes to authorised outlets

The ban on cigarette displays is a step in the right direction ("Cigarette displays to be banned from next year"; March 15), but may not be effective in curbing the habit, as smokers can still easily approach shops to make their purchases.

The main problem lies in the fact that cigarettes are easily available and there are too many places selling cigarettes here.

One effective method is to restrict the sale of cigarettes to only authorised outlets. For instance, the Government could regulate that only certain shops in shopping complexes are allowed to sell cigarettes.

This would make it impossible for people to buy cigarettes in the HDB heartland and could reduce smoking in coffee shops and void decks.

The inconvenience of buying cigarettes would discourage many people - especially the young - from picking up the habit. To be effective, we have to make cigarettes not only less visible, but also less accessible.

For the sake of our health, we should not shy away from implementing tougher measures.

Seah Yam Meng