The Dewan Rakyat was told on Wednesday that the increase in the number of women smokers was worrying.
Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said that among the reasons for the increase was that many women believed that by smoking cigarettes, they could lose weight.
“According to our study, the number of women smoking cigarettes is indeed on the rise and this is a very worrying trend.
“The perception that smoking cigarettes can help you lose weight is baseless,” he said in reply to Datuk Lilah Yasin (BN-Jempol) who wanted to know about the trend which was had been rampant of late.
Liow said women with such perception should go to a clinic or hospital and seek advice and counseling on the effects of smoking.
To an original question from Karpal Singh (DAP-Bukit Gelugor) on efforts to curb obesity, which could lead to various health problems, Liow said nurses and assistant medical officers were also authorised to provide counselling on exercise, nutrition and diet to the public.
“The responsibility to give counselling service to improve the quality of government service delivery in public helth clinics pertaining to the weight loss programme is no longer restricted to medical officers only,” he said.
He said the government had also deployed 172 family medicine experts to 151 government health clinics nationwide to enable obese individuals who also suffer from chronic diseases like diabetes and heart ailment to get specialist attention easily.