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23 July 2009

A study by researchers at Dartmouth College revealed that children with parents who smoked were 4 times more likely to purchase cigarettes, as compared to children with non-smoker parents.

2 The findings, acquired through a role play scenario involving a miniature grocery store, suggest that children are highly attentive to their parents smoking habits, and are more likely to regard smoking as appropriate and normal behaviour in social settings, thus resulting in a higher likelihood of them picking up the habit later on in life. An executive summary on the study is attached at Annex A for your information.

3 The results of the study appear to be congruent with the findings of the Student Health Survey 2006 conducted by the Health Promotion Board (HPB), which showed that a significantly higher percentage of youth smokers (59%) had at least one parent who smoked, as compared to the non-smokers (34%).

4 To highlight the strong influence of parental smoking behaviour on smoking behaviours in children, HPB is launching an awareness campaign from 23 July 2009, in conjunction with the National Smoking Control Campaign (NSCC) 2009. This is the first time HPB is reaching out to parents via a targeted campaign that emphasises how parental smoking can impact the future smoking status of young people. Please visit for more information on the campaign and to view the television commercial. The press advertisements which will run in various languages and local media platforms are also attached for your information.

5 Parents who smoke may know that their habit can affect the health and development of their child. However, they may not be aware that it can also influence their child s future behaviour. We hope to encourage parents who smoke to quit the habit early in a bid to reduce the possibility of their children picking it up in future. said V Prema, Deputy Director, Youth Health Programme Development 2, Youth Health Division, HPB.

6 HPB s media campaign poignantly puts forth how children want to be like their parents. The campaign includes television, radio and press advertisements that reiterate to parents that their children are constantly watching them and hence, drive home the importance of being smoke-free. The multi-pronged campaign also includes avenues that parents can turn to, for assistance to quit smoking. These include:

a toll-free confidential QuitLine telephone service (1800 438 2000) that provides smokers and their loved ones with advice on how to quit smoking and how to help someone quit.
Specialist and Pharmacist-On-Call Sessions via Health Line, HPB s confidential toll-free telephone service (1800 223 1313). The two sessions will give smokers the opportunity to speak with medical experts about how they can quit smoking.

Details of the sessions are as follows:

1) Specialist-on-Call Session by Associate Professor Dr Muni Winslow, (Executive Director, Promises Pte Ltd) on 30 July 2009, 2.30pm to 4pm; and

2) Pharmacist-on-Call Session by Ms Yong Pei Chean (Senior Pharmacist, Alexandra Hospital) on 4 August 2009, 10am to 12pm.
smoking cessation information and support provided online at
smoking cessation services at National Healthcare Group (NHG) and SingHealth polyclinics and restructured hospitals, and at retail pharmacies where healthcare professionals will support smokers with quit smoking advice and provide those who are ready to quit smoking with Nicotine Replacement Treatment (NRT).
a workplace-based Quit Butts Programme where smokers will be equipped with life skills to handle the challenges of quitting.
smoking cessation services provided by Voluntary Welfare Organisations, such as Singapore Heart Foundation and Singapore Cancer Society where smokers who are keen to quit can receive consultation from certified smoking cessation advisors.
7 HPB will be pleased to facilitate interviews with parents who have chosen to quit smoking for their children. Please contact the media contact persons listed below for more information.

Background Information on National Smoking Control Campaign (NSCC) 2009
8 NSCC 2009 focuses on youth and young working adults. With the theme Live it Up Without Lighting Up , the campaign highlights that a smoke-free lifestyle is hip, cool and desirable. Recognising that long-term effects may have little impact on youth, the campaign focuses on the shorter-term effects on appearance, fitness, expenses and the environment.

9 Accordingly, creative and vibrant youth-centric initiatives centring on the following four sub-themes have been planned:

- Better looks without lighting up
- Better fitness without lighting up
- Better environment without lighting up
- Better spending power without lighting up