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RM1.5m grant 'to help smokers kick habit'
The Star (my), 2002-02-01
The New York-based Rockefeller Foundation has given a RM1.5mil grant to the National Poison Centre to set up a "clearing house" to disseminate information on smoking ills.
Touted as the region's first, the clearing house will also be involved in publishing free bi-monthly newsletters and running a website on tobacco-related information.
Centre director Assoc Prof Dr Rahmat Awang said the clearing house which started operations in October last year would issue its first newsletter early this month and launch the website on the World No Tobacco Day on May 31.
"There's a lot of tobacco-related data flooding the world today. Thus, the clearing house will serve as a one-stop base to compile and distribute the data around the region.
"We are working with global links from as far as the United States, Switzerland and Australia," he said in an interview at the centre based at Universiti Sains Malaysia.
Dr Rahmat hoped to distribute between 1,000 and 2,000 newsletters to schools, government agencies and the mass media.
The articles will issues ranging from success stories by ex-smokers to the health hazards of tobacco.
He said the website would be specially customised to cater to the laymen, researchers and scientists.
"We are targeting tobacco consumers and hope to convince them to kick the habit.
"Malaysia's tobacco situation is among the worst in the region due to the relaxed conditions imposed on tobacco advertisements," he added.
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