Curbing teen smoking ‘must go beyond raising minimum age’

The Straits Times, 14 March 2017
Author: Linette Lai
“Teens below the age of 18 have been barred from smoking legally since 1993. Last week, the Ministry of Health (MOH) said it plans to raise the minimum legal smoking age from 18 to 21. In Singapore, these are the years when nearly half of smokers become regular smokers. But the data tells a different story. In 2013, the average age when smokers took their first puff was just 16, according to the National Health Surveillance Survey. Experts said the discrepancy shows that efforts to curb teen smoking must go beyond raising the minimum legal age. Issues such as raising awareness and enforcement cannot be sidelined.”
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