Health Promotion Board lauded by WHO for tobacco control efforts
The Health Promotion Board has been recognised for its efforts to protect the public against second hand smoke and garner support to create a 100 percent smoke-free environment
The recognition was accorded by the World Health Organisation Western Pacific Region Healthy City Recognition 2012 which aims to encourage cities to continue to innovate and demonstrate effective and efficient ways of promoting and protecting the health of urban populations.
The Board launched a blue ribbon initiative in March this year to garner support for a smoke-free environment.
So far, 13 markets and food centres, seven hotels, three parks and three grassroots communities have been recognised for their commitment to create smoke-free environments.
HPB says it will continue to work with more businesses and organisations to encourage them to support the initiative.
In addition, HPB's Health Ambassadors, who play an important role in the community to create a healthy living social movement, have been working the ground at various neighbourhoods to promote a smoke-free lifestyle as well as voluntary no-smoking zones at void decks and common corridors.
These ambassadors go door to door to distribute blue ribbons and quit kits, to support the blue ribbon smoke-free movement as well as help smokers quit.
HPB's Chief Executive Officer Ang Hak Seng says being recognised shows that the board is heading in the right direction.
Mr Ang Hak Seng, Chief Executive Officer, HPB, said,
"Being recognised by the World Health Organisation for our efforts in mobilising support for a 100% smoke-free environment shows we are heading in the right direction. The WHO award by no means stagnates our tobacco control efforts. In fact we have an uphill task ahead of us. While Singapore's national smoking prevalence continues to be one of the lowest in the world at about 14 per cent, the percentage of young adult smokers below 30 years old has increased in recent years, from about 12 per cent in 2004 to 16 per cent in 2010. While our multi-prong tobacco control approach encompasses legislation, this award recognises our efforts to move beyond that, to involve and mobilise the community through our blue ribbon initiative and I Quit campaign. We have now progressed from market and food centres to include hotels, parks and communities in the blue ribbon initiative. Our I Quit campaign will continue to offer 150 touch points that provide a smoker with convenient and accessible programmes wherever he is, at home or at work. As more people, communities and places make the choice to join our blue ribbon movement, we move closer to making a smoke-free lifestyle the acceptable social norm."
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