Malaysian Health Minister calls for non-smoking films

09:31, June 01, 2011      

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Malaysian Health Minister Liow Tiong Lai on Tuesday urged local film makers to avoid featuring smoking scenes in their films so as to prevent the youth emulating the bad habit.

Liow said in a speech in conjunction of the World No Tobacco Day on Tuesday that the youth might emulate the behavior of their favorite movie stars who smoke in a movie, adding that many young people take up smoking because they think it is cool.

As he mentioned, some of the high-grossing movies in 2010 had already excluded cigarette scenes such as Alice in Wonderland, Harry Potter and inception. He said that his ministry was ready to work closely with filmmakers who planned to produce such films.

He quoted a survey made by the Global Youth Tobacco Survey in 2000 as saying that about 18.2 percent of Malaysians aged between 13 and 15 were smokers.

Smoking has become one of the top killers in Malaysia with some 10,000 people dead each year due to smoking-related illness. It is reportedly that more than half of the Malaysian adults smoke every day.

Source: Xinhua
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