KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 20 – To treat smoking-related illnesses, the government will need to spend at least four times the amount collected from cigarette taxes.
Deputy Minister of Health, Dr Lee Boon Chye said for every RM1 tax collected from the sale of cigarettes, the government will have to spend RM4 to treat patients suffering from cigarette-related diseases.
“The RM 16 billion is not only from the ministry, but also the private sector for treating tobacco-related illnesses including cancer, heart disease and many others,” he said.
He told reporters after officiating the ministry’s Health Promotion Smart Networking Programme town hall session, today. Also present was Health Director-General Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah.
Boon Chye said statistics show that over a seven-year period, a total of 73,836 people participated in the smoking cessation programme with 23 percent successfully able to quit within six months.
“To date, the number of smokers who quit from 2012 to 2018 is 16,930,” he added.
Last year, 46 government hospitals and 731 health clinics provided smoking cessation services with more than 10,896 participants.
He said the ministry aims to reduce the group of smokers in Malaysia to five per cent by 2045.
“The Ministry of Health’s goal is to increase the number of smokers who participate smoking cessation program.
“I hope this service will be publicized and a list of hospitals offering smoking cessation services can be found at jomquit.moh.gov.my. The ministry is also providing smoking cessation assistance via Infoline Stop Smoking at 03-88834400,” he said.