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Kicking the Habit: Eradicating Smoking in Singapore

smoking

In Singapore, the fight against smoking continues to smoulder as measures to discourage the vice has increased.

What will it take to eliminate smoking in Singapore for good? Are you thinking about quitting? Read on to learn about Singapore’s fight against smoking and advice on how to stop smoking.

2023 Statistics for Smoking in Singapore

Singapore has one of the lowest smoking rates in the world, with around 10% of the population being daily smokers. Compared to the global rate of 22.3% in 2020, Singapore’s already low population of smokers has been on a continuous decline since the 1970s. More recent efforts include the increase in smoking age from 18 to 21, an increase in tobacco tax by 15%, and more smoking bans enacted on where people can smoke.

Despite the continued push for Singaporeans to quit smoking, these efforts may still only result in a very gradual decline in the number of smokers. With the increase in cigarette prices being the most impactful of the various initiatives, smokers may feel the pinch at first but quickly become used to the higher prices. They may consider it the cost of a small moment of pleasure, knowing full well that the habit has become exorbitant. Beyond that, the addictive nature of cigarettes remains the greatest contributor to smoking rates in Singapore.

What about vaping?

Vaping, or the use of an electronic device that produces vapour by heating up e-liquid or juice that then is inhaled, has become a recent issue in Singapore. It is common to see seemingly innocuous and trendy flavours, as well as devices designed to appear aesthetically pleasing to users. As a result, more and more Singaporeans have begun taking up the act as a replacement for smoking. Price is one of the factors, as vaporisers tend to be cheaper than cigarettes. Social media trends have also contributed to the popularity, as the act of vaping has become commonplace online.

Despite this, studies have shown that vapes are not less harmful than cigarettes, but equally capable of causing nicotine addiction in users. In addition, as vapes are illegal in Singapore, the components of e-liquid are not regulated. Besides nicotine, e-liquid may contain dangerous substances such as heavy metal particles. It is also possible for it to contain substances that release dangerous chemicals like formaldehyde or benzene when heated. Users who are unaware of the dangers of vaping may be attracted by factors such as the look of the vaporisers and the cheap price. However, they may be unwittingly putting themselves at risk of being exposed to harmful chemicals as well as developing a nicotine addiction.

It’s time to quit smoking for good

If you are finally ready to step away from cigarettes, it may be wise to ask your healthcare provider about nicotine replacement therapy. Nicotine addiction is hard to overcome, so it may be worthwhile to consult your healthcare provider to determine if short-acting nicotine replacements such as prescription nicotine patches, gum, or lozenges can help you to resist smoking by providing a temporary respite from nicotine cravings. Besides that, it may also be helpful to distract yourself when you feel the urge to smoke, such as by going on a walk or having a healthy snack. By redirecting your attention to something else, you may be less tempted to light up. Finally, reach out to your friends, family members, or support group members for support on your journey to quit smoking. They may offer invaluable assistance as you go smoke-free.

 

References:

https://www.channelnewsasia.com/singapore/quit-smoking-tobacco-tax-hike-ban-vaping-addiction-3295746

https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/askst-what-are-the-dangers-of-vaping

https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/quit-smoking/in-depth/nicotine-craving/art-20045454

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