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National Poison Centre
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Smoking and Islam
V-C: Smoking among youths still a problem
  By: -
Source: The Star, Saturday, January 4 1997

Penang: There are at least 1.7 million smokers in Peninsular Malaysia and one in every five Malaysians aged 15 years and above is a smoker.

USM Vice Chancellor Datuk Professor Ishak Tambi Kechik said yesterday that in spite of the government's anti-smoking campaign, statistics show that smoking among youths remained a problem.

A study by the Ministry of Youth and Sports in 1994 on 6,000 youths show that 71 per cent had experimented with cigarettes.

He said a recent SSM study showed that 85 per cent of smokers were aged between 19 and 22 years

"The irony is that 96 per cent of these smokers are aware of the dangers and health risks but they cannot kick the habit.

"But our studies on USM undergraduates show that 82 per cent of these smokers desire to stop their habit," he said.

He was speaking at the opening of the three-day Tobacco, Health and Islam National seminar at USM  which began yesterday.

The seminar, jointly organised by the Islamic Centre of USM and the National Poison Centre USM was opened by the Yang di Pertua Negri Tun Dr Haji Hamdan Sheikh Tahir.

In his opening address, Dr Hamdan said that universities played a major role in the campaign against smoking by being the role model for other organisations.

He said smoking was a form of drug abuse and must be eradicated.

Among the main speakers for these seminars are Datuk Professor Emeritus Shahnon Ahmad, National Poison Centre Professor director Dzulkifli Abdul Razak and FOMCA president Professor Hamdan Adnan.


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