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Health Ministry looking at cutting nicotine in cigarettes by half

Published: Sunday March 18, 2012 MYT 2:48:00 PM

Updated: Sunday March 18, 2012 MYT 3:46:23 PM


Health Ministry looking at cutting nicotine in cigarettes by half


BENTONG: The Health Ministry is looking at reducing the nicotine content in cigarettes by half to curb the smoking addiction.

“Currently, the nicotine content in a stick of cigarette is 20mg. We hope that by reducing the amount, we can at least help smokers take care of their health and control their addiction,” its minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said.

Liow said no target had been fixed as the plan was still in discussion but hoped that it could be cut down by 10mg.

He said the smoking cessation programme introduced in health clinics had been very successful.

“The success rate in stopping smoking increased from 60% to 80%. We want to move this programme to the community level next.

“However, smokers have to know that the habit can only be kicked through their own willpower.

“Otherwise, there is no use in joining the programme at all,” he said after joining Felda Lurah Bilut settlers in a 10,000-steps-a-day programme here.

On another matter, Liow said the Lynas monitoring committee led by him would come up with more proposals for the authorities to ensure safety.

“In fact, our committee came up with proposals to send the residue abroad and to control pollution by recycling the waste, which as we can see have been accepted by the authorities,” he said.

The watchdog committee was jointly formed by Pahang MCA, various Chinese associations and chamber of commerce last year.

Liow also said the parliamentary select committee to look into the rare earth project was a very good move that would allow more people to give their views without further politicising the issue.

“As the Health Minister, I would also like to give my assurance that I will be the first to stop this project if it is found to be harmful to the people’s health,” he said.

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