KUALA LUMPUR: An estimated of 38 per cent of men and 1.4 per cent of women in Malaysian have smoking habit, said Minister of Health, Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam.
He said in absolute number, a total of 20,000 Malaysian had passed away annually as a result of their smoking habit.
“The highest number of smokers among men is between 15 to 24 age group,” he said in keynote address on ‘Smoking Cessation in Malaysia’ Kuala Lumpur Nicotine Addiction Conference 2015 here yesterday.
His keynote address was read by Deputy Director-General of Health (Public Health), Datuk Dr Lokman Hakim.
Subramaniam pointed out the ‘Tak Nak’ campaign was introduced by ministry had reach a point where the majority of smokers was aware that smoking is not good for health but have difficulty in quitting.
He said a survey in 2011 showed that up to 71 per cent of current smokers intended to quit smoking and nearly 50 percent made attempt to quit.
“Awareness has not translated into concrete behavioural change and thus, it is imperative that we do all that we can to support the smokers who intend to quit smoking,” he said.
In Malaysia, quitting smoking services has been available since 2000 at the primary care level and the number of ‘Klinik Kesihatan’ offering these services has increased from 694 in 2011 to 731 in 2014.
“The number of clients treated has also increased from 3,691 to 4,768,” he said.
He said the ministry has taken steps in helping to decrease the number of smokers by making graphic pictorial warnings on cigarette packets as a compulsory displays and enforced bans on tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship in the country. – Bernama