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     FrontPage Edition: Thu 22 March 2007

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National Smoking Campaign 2007


Quitting is Hard. Not Quitting is Harder

National Smoking Campaign 07 to jolt smokers to quit smoking
A hard hitting quit smoking message is set to hit television screens tonight. This is part of the Health Promotion Board¡¯s (HPB) new campaign to jolt smokers to think seriously about quitting smoking.
From 20 March 07, HPB will be running a 3-month long smoking control campaign supported by mass media.
This campaign is a follow through from the revised graphic health warnings on tobacco packaging introduced in November last year.
The revised graphic health warnings depict some of the many smoking related diseases and conditions such as oral cancer, neck cancer, gangrene and a miscarriaged foetus.
However, the call to smokers to quit does not only focus on the hard hitting consequences of smoking. HPB will adopt a two-pronged approach, to jolt smokers to think about quitting followed by positive motivation and support to help smokers kick the habit.
¡°1 in 2 smokers die from smoking related diseases. We want to help smokers internalise their risk and understand the dire consequences of smoking. At the same time, because we know quitting is hard, we are offering them encouragement and support to help them quit. Very often, many do not quit smoking and go through long periods of suffering before succumbing to smoking related diseases. The pain and consequences of smoking are felt not only by the smokers but also by their loved ones,¡± says Mr Lam Pin Woon, Chief Executive Officer, Health Promotion Board.
Phase 1 - Quitting is hard. Not quitting is harder
The first phase of the campaign will start on 20 March 2007 until 30 April 2007 , with the theme, ¡°Quitting is hard. Not quitting is harder¡±. This will be conveyed through intensive mass media using television, print and various outdoor media.
The mass media advertisement will depict a female smoker with oral cancer to communicate the pain and suffering of someone with a smoking-related disease. A novel approach will also be adopted this year with a sick ¡®patient¡¯ on a hospital bed stationed at strategic locations around Singapore during 4 lunch time bursts between the month of Mar and Apr .
Various collaterals will be disseminated at strategic locations such as workplaces, entertainment outlets and eating establishments. These include posters with mock paper cigarette stub tear-outs containing tips on how to quit smoking and HPB¡¯s QuitLine number, memo pads resembling a cigarette pack with quit tips and the QuitLine number.
Healthcare establishments will display A3 sized posters showing mouth cancer and tips to quit smoking, within their premises. Doctors and pharmacists will offer a useful ¡®wheel¡¯ tool to help smokers identify their smoking habit and offer personalised advice accordingly.
Phase 2 Ready to quit? Give it a Try!
The second phase of the campaign will commence in May 2007, culminating on World No Tobacco Day on 31 May 2007. This phase will feature success stories of ex-smokers, to encourage smokers to quit the habit.
With the theme ¡°Ready to quit? Give it a try!¡± mass media efforts will publicise these testimonials through various print and outdoor media, and on-ground marketing.
HPB will organise a series of six roadshows to provide smokers with an opportunity to respond to the mass media messages and to receive free personalised quit smoking consultation.
These roadshows will revolve around the theme ¡°Quit Fix¡±, akin to the ¡°do-it-yourself¡± concept, where smokers will be offered convenient and effective solutions incorporating self-management tools, Nicotine Replacement Therapy and professional advice. The six roadshows will be held at five strategic locations in the heartlands.
Highlights at the roadshows include free professional quit smoking advice offered by trained pharmacists, supported by the Pharmaceutical Society of Singapore, health screening by SATA and attractive discounts on Nicorette by Johnson & Johnson.
Workplaces will also be encouraged to support this campaign by organising tobacco control initiatives at the workplace between March and June 2007. Companies will be given educational materials to distribute to their staff. They can choose to hold mini ¡°Quit Fix¡± roadshows and smoking awareness talks.
The key message for both phase 1 and phase 2 of the Campaign is to urge smokers to seek professional help to quit smoking. Smokers can either contact HPB's toll free service (QuitLine 1800 438 2000) for quit advice and a complementary Quit Kit, contact any of the 68 quit smoking services, or their own family doctor for support. During the first two weeks of the Campaign, HPB will extend QuitLine¡¯s operating hours till 9pm on weekdays.
Fact Sheets
World No Tobacco Day (WNTD) was first observed in 1988, and has since been observed annually on 31 May. WNTD is a global event to raise awareness on the impact of tobacco use, promote a tobacco-free environment and reduce tobacco dependence in individuals.
WNTD aims to:
  • highlight the dangers of tobacco use
  • encourage people not to use tobacco and
  • motivate users to quit
Currently, approximately 1.3 billion people around the world smoke. This includes manufactured cigarettes as well as other forms of tobacco.
Of these 1.3 billion smokers, nearly 5 million die every year as a result of tobacco-related illnesses. This approximates 14,000 deaths per day. It is also predicted that tobacco will be the leading cause of death and disability by the year 2020. Tobacco is currently the second major cause of death in the world.
Tobacco contributes to approximately 7 deaths every day in Singapore . A 1994 report estimated that the use of tobacco resulted in an annual global net loss of U.S. $200 thousand million, a third of this loss being in developing countries (Source: World Health Organisation).
A local study by NUS shows that healthcare, absenteeism and loss of productivity stemming from smoking-related diseases cost the nation between $700 million and $800 million in 1997.
Approximately 90% of lung cancer deaths are caused by tobacco use. Smoking is also a major risk factor for heart disease, stroke and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), all of which rank among the major causes of deaths in Singapore in 2002.

Source: Press Release 20 Mar 2007

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