KUALA LUMPUR: The Health Ministry estimates smokers aged 18 and above in the country number a staggering five million, which is about 17 percent of the overall population.
Health Deputy Director-General (Public Health) Dr Lokman Hakim Sulaiman said the group contributed to about 20,000 premature deaths yearly as a result of tobacco related complications.
“Among the main complications are cancer, chronic lung disease and cardiovascular diseases,” he told reporters after launching the “mQuit quit smoking service” here today.
Lokman said the ministry had drawn up various strategies to achieve its target of getting 390,000 smokers to quit the habit within the next three years.
He said the move was in line with the government’s target to reduce tobacco consumption by 30 percent in Malaysia by 2025.
“This mQuit programme is introduced to give smokers to get three levels of support, namely professional advice, materials to help quit smoking and enlisting the smoker’s own willpower,” he said.
The mQuit programme involves the cooperation of Universiti Malaya, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Akademi Farmasi Malaysia, and Syarikat Johnson and Johnson Sdn Bhd.
It will be implemented at all health clinics throughout the country, selected pharmacies and online.
Some 140 private healthcare providers have also applied to get mQuit accreditation to get on board.
More information on mQuit is available at www.JomQuit.com.my.