Forum: Do more to dissuade the young from taking first puff

New Zealand's move to eradicate smoking by banning the young from ever buying cigarettes is innovative and courageous (New Zealand to ban smoking for future generations, Dec 10).

Singapore is doing well in its efforts to discourage smoking among the young.

It is illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to buy, sell and use tobacco products. The age limit was raised this year from 20.

Many public areas are smoke-free, including some parks.

However, many teenagers and young adults are still taking up smoking.

It could be due to peer pressure or the thinking that smoking is cool.

More can be done, and the media can play a positive role by spreading the message that smoking is detrimental to one's health.

Schools can join in the chorus for students not to take the first puff, and warn of the severe consequences that come with it.

And there are few better ways for parents to show their love for their children than by constantly reminding them of the harmful effects of tobacco use.

Even if Singapore does not follow New Zealand's move, it certainly provides food for thought.

Bennie Cheok

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