More students take smoke-free pledge

A chain around a bunch of cigarettes and a padlock, to illustrate an article on a proposal to deny anyone born in, or after the year 2000, from buying and smoking cigarettes.
PHOTO: More students take smoke-free pledge

SINGAPORE - Almost 160 students pledged not to pick up smoking at yesterday's Tobacco Free Generation 2000 Youth Summit. This was more than double the 67 who made the same promise at last year's event, said organisers.

The annual summit is part of a movement to encourage youth born after 2000 to make the commitment not to pick up the habit.

It was launched by Dr Koong Heng Nung, senior consultant lung surgeon who runs his own practice, in 2010.

Besides making the pledge, students and teachers at the summit also discussed issues related to tobacco such as how to raise awareness about the harmful effects of the substance.

Marine Parade GRC MP Fatimah Lateef, who was guest of honour at yesterday's event, said: "Through this bottom-up approach we are spreading the message and empowering students."

West Spring Secondary student Shaun Song was among those who made the commitment.

"My grandmother used to smoke and she died of cancer," said the 14-year-old. "I know the effects of smoking, and the pain and suffering for someone who suffered cancer. Smoking is very serious and we have to stop it."

This article was first published on July 22, 2014. Get a copy of The Straits Times or go to for more stories.