Actors puffing away in movies are not 'cool'

SINGAPORE - Much of our anti-smoking effort has been directed at public education and imposing high taxes on smokers.

We have also extended the smoking ban to more public places to protect non-smokers.

But can we do more? Perhaps we could look at the way we protect public morality.

We have a censorship board that rates movies and TV shows that feature, among other things, nudity, coarse language and excessive violence.

But there are other things to consider, such as excessive scenes of actors smoking, which make puffing away at a cigarette seem "cool".

Movies and TV shows with such scenes could perhaps be given a rating that prohibits children from watching them.

While we do not expect all movies and TV shows to teach good morals and habits, it does not mean we should allow them to promote unhealthy habits such as smoking.

- Peter Chan Teng Hong

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