Smoking is bad, MoH tells students
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
REFRAIN from smoking.
The Health Promotion Centre under the Ministry of Health sternly issued this warning yesterday to students as the number of smokers in the Sultanate has been estimated at 17 per cent of the population as of 2013.
Officials from the health department and other government agencies were at the Sayyidina Husain Secondary School for the Sinar programme, initiated by the school to educate students on issues such as smoking and pre-marital sex, among others.
Around 200 Year Eight students attended the event.
Nurhaslinda Hj Panjang, a speaker from the Ministry of Health, discouraged the youth from smoking to curb the rise in the number of smokers in the country.
“As of 2013, the number of smokers in the Sultanate is about 17 percent of the population,” she said.
Citing the Global Youth Tobacco Survey, she noted that 8.5 per cent of smokers were youth aged 13 to 15.
Based also on the ASEAN Control Atlas published in 2014, an estimated 24 per cent of the youth in Brunei are smokers as of 2011.
She strongly warned the students during her talk not to try smoking, stressing its ill-effects.
“Smokers will suffer many diseases from the vice, as one cigarette stick contains more than 4,000 chemicals,” she said.
Nurhaslinda said that smoking becomes an addictive habit because of nicotine.
She noted that smoking can result to halitosis, or bad breath, which will not disappear easily regardless of the frequency of brushing the teeth.
Students were also advised to distance themselves from smokers, citing the dangers of passive smoke.
“Passive smokers will also experience similar diseases by the smokers such as lungs, neck and mouth cancers,” she said.
Speaking to The Brunei Times at the sidelines of the talk, a teacher who requested anonimity said the school conducted the talk to prevent smoking among its students.
“Instead of punishing them (student-smokers), we asked them to attend several talks without disturbing their study,” the teacher said.
Besides attending talks, students were also encouraged to participate in school visits of the Rehabilitation Centre and Leadership Camp.
Yesterday’s event also focused on several issues from different agencies such as the Counselling and Career Guidance Division under the Ministry of Education, Info Department under the Prime Minister’s Office and the Islamic Da’wah Centre (PDI).
The Brunei Times