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HPB aims to reduce adult smokers here to 12% by 2020

Today, the Health Promotion Board (HPB) announced its new two-pronged strategy to reduce adult smokers in Singapore to 12 per cent by 2020. 

The Tobacco Control Strategy will focus on educating students to prevent them picking up the habit, as well as providing more support for smokers looking to quit. 

A new No To Tobacco programme will be introduced to schools by 2017. 

Smokers looking to quit will be able to get counselling from HPB's I Quit roadshows, to be held across Singapore over the next six months. HPB said it aims to get 10,000 smokers to take the pledge to start their quit journey by signing up for a 28-day smoke-free challenge. 

HPB said it will also increase smoking cessation touchpoints - at which smokers can receive counselling and tips on how to quit smoking - to 600 locations nationwide. It will also be looking to work with the Ministry of Health to make nicotine-replacement therapy more accessible and affordable. 

The strategy was announced in conjunction with World No Tobacco Day, instated by the World Health Organisation in 1987 to encourage a 24-hour period of no smoking, and to draw global attention to the negative effects of tobacco use. 

Facts about smoking in Singapore

About 7 Singaporeans die prematurely from smoking-related diseases each day.

Smoking-related diseases, including cancer, heart disease, stroke and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) - also known as Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (COLD) - are the nation's top killers.

What are the normal reactions after you quit?

  • Difficulty in concentration or dizziness because your brain needs to get used to having more oxygen
  • Cough and running nose as your lungs get rid of all the dirt and germs that had accumulated inside while you were smoking
  • Strong craving for cigarettes while your body gets rid of the nicotine
  • Tingling sensations in your arms and legs as your blood circulation returns to normal

HPB: "Not everyone will get these withdrawal symptoms but don't lose heart if you do. They will disappear in one or two weeks and they are actually signs that you are getting better."

Source: Health Promotion Board