The Health Ministry (MOH) has revealed that more smokers registered for its Quit Smoking Service Program, or mQuit, this year compared to last year!
It seems there was more than a two-fold increase in the number of people who wish to quit smoking, particularly over the Movement Control Order (MCO) period since March.
Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba told Parliament yesterday (November 30th), 3,442 smokers registered under mQuit from January to October this year - a significant increase compared to the 1,678 people who registered for the programme last year.
“Of the total number of people registered for the programme this year, 95% or 3,254 people registered their interest for the programme throughout the implementation of the MCO that came into force on March 18th,” he said.
As of now, 21% of the country’s population or 4.8 million people are smokers, while the number of people who want to quit smoking stands at 2.3 million.
Dr Adham also pointed out that the government had spent RM2 million in 2018 and RM2.8 million last year to fund pharmacology costs to encourage people to quit smoking prior to the implementation of mQuit.
The ministry is hoping that the Finance Ministry (MOF) would consider its request to use funds collected from excise duty on cigarettes and tobacco for all smoking cessation programmes, which could help reduce the number of smokers in the country.
mQuit is a free programme that encourages smokers to kick the habit, and it has successfully treated some 22,000 people thus far.
by Kyle Roshen Jacob