Over 30,000 school students given intervention for smoking, says Health Minister

5 July 2024

By Ragananthini Vethasalam, The Star

PETALING JAYA: Over 30,000 school students have been given intervention for smoking under the Oral Health without Cigarette Smoke (Kotak) initiative, says Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad.

The Health Minister said intervention had been given to 38,384 students comprising 38,010 secondary school students and 374 from primary schools.

Of this, 127 primary school students and 1,726 secondary school students had given up smoking.

To ensure that these students do not return to smoking, the ministry has stepped up intervention programmes at schools whereby students who smoke would be referred to the counselling teacher.

“Students who smoke can also seek treatment at the nearest health clinic under the surveillance of their parents,” he said in a parliamentary written reply dated July 4.

The ministry has also embarked on a five-year advocacy and intervention programme at higher education institutions through the mQUIT University programme and at workplaces through the mQUIT workplace programme.

The programme has also been extended to the community by collaborating with NGOs.

He was responding to a question by Datuk Dr Alias Ramli(PN-Kuala Nerus) on the efficacy of Kotak and how many students have quit smoking as well as the measures taken to ensure that they do not return to smoking.