HPB’s anti-smoking campaign targets young women, 21/10/09

SINGAPORE: The Health Promotion Board (HPB) has launched a new initiative which it hopes will arrest the rising trend of young women picking up smoking in Singapore.

A 2007 national survey found that nearly 10 per cent of female respondents aged between 18 and 29 smoked daily, up from 4 per cent in 2001. The most common reasons cited by these women include stress relief and relaxation.

HPB’s latest anti-smoking initiative aims to show that with prolonged smoking, a person’s appearance will suffer from sunken cheeks and premature ageing.

The authority claims that the use of graphic images in its campaign to deter women from smoking is not meant to be a “scare tactic”.

JoAnn Taylor, deputy director of Substance Abuse Department, HPB, said: “It’s really appealing to women’s essential needs. It’s about looking good for their partner, for their friends or even for themselves. So it really appeals to women’s idea of beauty.”

At the five-day exhibition in VivoCity, women are shown the negative effects of smoking. Members of the public can also have their photo taken and altered digitally to show how they would look at age 60, with and without the effects of smoking.

Fresh Air for Women Programme’s ambassador, Vanessa Fernandez, spoke on Wednesday about the benefits she experienced when she quit the habit four months ago, after smoking for 14 years.

“When I quit smoking, you can instantly see the difference that it has on my appearance. I’ve had years of stained teeth, puffy eyes and my skin is really bad, and I think it takes a while to recover from that.”

The HPB exhibition will be moving to various parts of Singapore to extend its reach to more women. 
 Watch the video here:

– CNA/so