Move towards total ban on cigarettes

I have been living with a smoker for 10 years and know first-hand the struggles of a smoker trying to quit the habit.

Over the years, the cigarette price hikes have hurt our pockets but have not helped my husband quit smoking.

Although it has become increasingly difficult for a smoker to indulge in his habit, the truth is that cigarettes are still easily available over the counter.

To feed their nicotine addiction, smokers are willing to pay a hefty price - both monetarily and health-wise. Hence, trying to price cigarettes out of the reach of smokers who have enough disposable income to purchase them is not going to be beneficial.

The truth about smoking is crystal clear. It is a killer. It kills the smoker and the innocent bystander who happens to inhale the second-hand smoke.

For an asthmatic like myself, the toxic second-hand smoke triggers asthma attacks.

It is also a smelly habit and spoils social functions and meal times, as my husband usually disappears for smoke breaks, for instance.

Tomorrow is World No Tobacco Day and an opportune time to take a united stand against smoking and start moving towards a total ban on cigarettes.

This is the most effective way to save the lives of smokers in Singapore and prevent our young people from picking up this habit. It will also stop burdening taxpayers with smoking-related healthcare costs.

Nazima Begum Mohamed (Madam)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 30, 2018, with the headline 'Move towards total ban on cigarettes'. Print Edition | Subscribe