Nearly 160 students pledge not to start smoking

SINGAPORE - Around 160 students pledged not to pick up smoking at the Tobacco Free Generation 2000 Youth Summit on Monday, more than double the 67 who promised to do the same at the annual event last year, said organisers.

The summit is part of a movement to encourage youth born after 2000 to make the commitment not to pick up the habit. It was launched in 2010 by Dr Koong Heng Nung, a senior consultant lung surgeon who runs his own practice.

Besides the pledge, students and teachers at the summit also discussed issues related to tobacco, such as how to raise awareness about the harmful effects of the substance.

"We want to let people know that smoking is the phenomenon of the last century," said Dr Koong, who is is known here as the man behind the 2004 proposal to make pubs here smoke-free. "In this new century, we want to have smoking eradicated completely for those born in the year 2000 and beyond."

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