Give your vote only to non-smoking candidates

LETTERS: We already know the negative effects of smoking not only to the smokers themselves but also to other people through the smoke it generates.

As such, it does not seem right to give our precious vote to any election candidate who is addicted to smoking if we truly are against smoking.

For the last many years, we have voiced our resentment towards the issue of smoking and now is the best time for us to take our resentment on such an issue to the next level.

This simple step can send a strong signal to everyone that smoking is not welcome and anyone who engages in such bad habit, including our election candidates, should be prevented from becoming our representative and leader.

If we give our vote to smokers it can also send a wrong signal especially to the younger generation over our commitment to put an end to smoking addiction in the country.

Examine the background of the election candidate in the coming general election.

In this regard, voters should be persuaded not to give their vote to any election candidate who refuses or fails to give their support to the proposed Tobacco and Smoking Products Control Bill 2022 which had been tabled by the government recently.

This proposed bill, which has been more than a decade in the making, is being touted as a once-in-a-lifetime game-changer as it seeks to not only better regulate items such as electronic cigarettes or vape, but also to introduce a Generational Endgame (GEG).

Smoking harms nearly every organ of the body. According to many studies, smoking leads most commonly to diseases affecting the heart, liver, and lungs, besides being a major risk factor for heart attacks, strokes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) (including emphysema and chronic bronchitis), and cancer (particularly lung cancer, cancers of the larynx and mouth, and pancreatic cancer).

The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that tobacco kills eight million people each year as of 2019 and 100 million deaths over the course of the 20th century.

Meanwhile, another issue is electronic cigarette or e-cigarettes. It is also called vaping. In 2019 and 2020, an outbreak of severe vaping lung illness occurred in the United States of America.

The regular usage of e-cigarettes has been linked to damage to the lungs, cardiovascular system as well as the brain. In a recent study researchers have found that frequent inhalation of the vapours in e-cigarettes have a positive correlation with the frequency and severity of asthma and obstructive lung disease.

The coming Malaysian government should continue its efforts to reduce the number of smoking addicts in the society and must continue finding ways to protect its citizens who want to live in a safe, clean and healthier environment free from any kind of smoking activities and the pollution it generates.

My message is, voters should never allow a person or persons who smoke to be their representative or leader.

Dr Muzaffar Syah Mallow

Associate Professor,

Faculty of Syariah and Laws,

Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia (USIM)

The views expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect those of the New Straits Times

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