Smoking and more smokes
The Ministry of Health really meant business. With the enforcement of the Tobacco Order 2005, the ministry is in full swing to ensure that Brunei would become a-100 percent smoke-free environment. Pretty tough huh!
The ministry has opened up the Stop smoking Clinic Service in June 2006 at Anggerek Desa in Berakas and the Seria Health Clinic. It provides counselling by experts, so smokers who could not kick the habit can get help – for free. The ministry has distributed posters and flyers in all four districts to inform the public on the new order. In the national effort, Ministry of Health has been actively promoting the No Smoking campaign since 1988 and declared that all buildings under the ministry including offices, hospitals and clinics are No-Smoking Zones since August 15, 1990.
I agree that the new order would deter offenders. I like the part where those below 18 who are caught smoking in public would be fined. It is also illegal to sell, supply and give cigarettes to those below 18. I have seen teenagers as young as 14 who smoked openly at The Mall. I know at that tender age, you want to be part of the crowd and to look cool and whatever reasons that the young come up with.
I think the next step should be increasing the price for a pack of cigarette; I remember it used to be $2.70 for a Virginia Slim and after just a few years it was increased to $3 per pack. My chain-smoking friend said that only if a pack cost $6, she would think hard to stop and if $10; then she would definitely quit. So law-makers, please take note.
I admit that I was a smoker too. My first cigarette I think must be when I was 14 or 15 because of peer pressure and that stupid feeling of ‘wanting to know’. But it ended there at that time because I simply hate the smell. Then later in life, ehem, I started to smoke again, not sure why I smoke, maybe I was in a h*#! of trouble and a mess with my life. After so many soul-searching moments, I decided that I must take care of myself and involved myself with the thing I love most – exercising. Without me realizing it myself, I have forgotten when my last cigarrete was. Of course it didn’t come easy and quickly but I remember I was smoking less and less each month as I focus myself on my new healthier lifestyle.
I hope those who try to stop smoking – yes you can do it and yes, I know its not easy but believe that you can and you will – in anything. Good luck.