Some 145 provision stores, coffeeshops and independent retailers will be pulling cigarettes off the shelves on Friday in support of World No Tobacco Day. They join major supermarket chains such as Cold Storage, Giant, Sheng Siong and NTUC Fairprice in this effort to highlight the harms of smoking.
Associate Professor Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim, Parliamentary Secretary (Health and Transport), said he is heartened that more small retailers are supporting this initiative, which has been run by the Health Promotion Board for a number of years.
Speaking during a visit to some of the participating retailers on Thursday he added: "This may be a small but significant step as it is indicative of the community spirit and willingness to work together to promote a tobacco-free lifestyle as the social norm."
One such participant is Sin Wah Hong coffeeshop in Geylang. Its owner Mr Tan Biing Yan, 40, said he wanted to do his part to discourage the next generation from taking up the habit. "It will improve the coffeeshop culture as well, because some people don't like others to smoke beside them when they are eating," he said.