In support of the Government’s efforts to bring down the number of smokers, currently at around 4.3 million in the country, the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (the Centre) has launched a STOP Smoking Campaign to encourage team members to gradually reduce their nicotine intake.

As part of the campaign, Ministry of Health (MOH) representative and Senior Nurse with Klinik Kesihatan Tanglin, Bukit Aman, Swinder Jit A/P Jag Singh was invited to a ‘tea talk’ with team members on the risks of smoking. During the hour-long session, she spoke on the harmful effects of smoking on one’s health and that of loved ones, and provided information on the public services provided by MOH to help smokers quit.

Applauding the Centre’s efforts and for holding the event during work hours which made it easier for team members to attend, Swinder said the Centre is an example other health-conscious organisations can emulate. “Every 10 minutes of an hour a staff spends smoking can cost a company substantially in the long run; both in terms of lost time and health costs. So if my talk can prompt even three or four team members to give up this unhealthy habit, their action may influence their peers to follow suit in the future.”

In her presentation, Swinder shared some frightening facts on smoking such as, smokers’ risk of fatality is 3 times higher than non-smokers and there are over 7,000 chemicals in a single cigarette. She also provided tips to help quit smoking including throwing out everything related to cigarettes, resist buying or accepting invitations to smoke, informing family and friends of one’s intention to quit to garner their support and help, fighting the urge to smoke by munching on healthy foods, doing light exercises, drinking lots of water and avoiding caffeinated drinks.

For Rusydi bin Mazalan from the Centre’s Operations - Customer Service division, who has been smoking since he was 16 years old, the session was an eye-opener. Recording the highest level of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) in his lungs among team members during an inhaler indicator test, Rusydi feels he now has the required motivation to make a change in his life and will try to quit, step-by-step, with counselling and treatment from a MOH Klinik Kesihatan.

Other initiatives undertaken by the Centre under her STOP Smoking Campaign include removal of all smoking bin ashtrays at the B1 parking area.