SINGAPORE - Nee Soon South is going one step further in its quest to be smoke-free - this time by urging smokers to quit the habit altogether.
Volunteers in the area are not only telling smokers about six designated smoking sheds in the area but are also encouraging them to attend a 12-week quit smoking programme.
This initiative, called the Nee Soon South Quit Smoking Programme, was launched by Ms Lee Bee Wah, an MP for Nee Soon GRC, on Sunday morning.
It is part of the community's efforts to establish Nee Soon South Zone D as a smoke-free one.
In January, six smoking "sheds" were set up for smokers to use as designated smoking points. While smokers are encouraged to use these areas, there are no penalties if they choose not to.
Ms Lee said the response has been encouraging. "Some smokers have told us that they want to stop smoking, so...we want to help them," she added.
Under the latest programme, tailored for the neighbourhood by the National Healthcare Group Polyclinics, the Health Promotion Board and the Nee Soon South Active Ageing Committee, smokers will undergo a consultation with health-care professionals such as psychologists and dietitians.
"It's a challenge for smokers to quit, sometimes due to psychological reasons - so the programme will teach them how to overcome these barriers," said grassroots volunteer Irene Tan, 50.
The cost of about $3,000 for the programme will be paid by the Nee Soon South Active Ageing Committee and the Health Promotion Board.
At Sunday's event, Ms Lee also launched a community garden on the roof of a multi-storey carpark while grassroots volunteers picked up rubbish in the neighbourhood.
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