MoH study: Good response to anti-smoking ad at cinemas

National 2 minutes, 2 seconds


THE Ministry of Health (MoH) saw success with its anti-smoking advertisement that was shown in cinemas, receiving mostly positive responses from viewers.

Dr Hjh Norhayati Hj Kassim, head of Health Promotion Centre (HPC), said a recent survey conducted on the ministry’s anti-smoking ad found that 93 per cent of viewers agreed that it increased awareness about the dangers of tobacco.

The study was carried out on 513 respondents at three cinemas in the country after the ‘Second-hand Smoke Kills’ ad to mark World No Tobacco Day was aired from July 2013 to June 2014.

Ninety-one per cent of viewers said the ad gave information on where and how to seek help, while 90 per cent also described the video as “attention-grabbing” and “believable”. Another 83 per cent agreed it provided sufficient information on the addictive nature of smoking.

However, Dr Hjh Norhayati noted that only 74 per cent said the advert would make smokers consider giving up smoking.

“For us in the health services sector, we also need to understand that addiction is quite complex – lots of studies done there. We need to understand the perspective of those who are actually under addiction,” she said last Sunday.

Being in a position of authority, the HPC head explained it can be a challenge for healthcare personnel to put themselves in the shoes of smoking addicts.

“It’s all very easy to tell them to do this and that, but understanding addiction and tailoring our messages around that would probably help these people to actually see that we’re not out to get them. We want to help,” she commented.

Following the success of the advert, she said they would look into creating similar mass media anti-smoking campaigns in the future.

A survey conducted by the HPC from December 2014 to January 2015 found that 18 per cent of adults were tobacco smokers with over 12 per cent of adults smoking on a daily basis. However, 86.1 per cent of smokers have tried to stop smoking over the past year.

Dr Hjh Norhayati also reiterated that the authorities were committed towards reducing tobacco use, particularly among the youth.

Recent anti-smoking efforts undertaken by MoH include the provision of smoking cessation clinics at all health centres nationwide with professional counselling services to aid smokers intending to curb their smoking habits.

The ministry also introduced long-term initiatives such as bans on tobacco advertising, smoking in public places and certain vehicles, and sales control on tobacco products.

The Brunei Times