10 food centres awarded Blue Ribbon for going smoke-free - 04Mar2012
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Published on Mar 4, 2012
SINGAPORE: Ten markets and food centres have pledged to be completely smoke-free.
All part of an anti-tobacco movement launched by the Health Promotion Board (HPB) to reduce second-hand smoke.
Upper Boon Keng Market and Food Centre has just been awarded a Blue Ribbon for going smoke-free.
The Blue Ribbon initiative is part of a larger smoke-free movement started by the World Health Organisation Western Pacific Region.
And Singapore is now the first country in the region to adopt this initiative on a nationwide scale with 10 markets and food centres voluntarily taking the lead.
Minister of State for Health Amy Khor said: "In fact, food centres, they can have smoking corners, but they've actually removed this demarcated smoking zone to make the environment smoke-free because they support this smoke-free movement. And they believe that it will not affect their business."
Dr Chia Chan Puay, vice chairman, Upper Boon Keng Blk 17 Hawkers' and Shopkeepers' Association, said: "It should not have a big effect, and it's really a small sacrifice for the sake of health."
HPB hopes to get 20 per cent of the 107 markets and food centres to be part of the Blue Ribbon movement by end 2013.
It's also counting on volunteers to go around the neighbourhoods to promote a smoke-free lifestyle and voluntary no-smoking zones at void decks and common corridors.
Tan Kin Teo, health ambassador, HPB, said: "Whenever resident or public pick up the brochures on 'I Quit', we will approach them to find out whether they came to the motion for themselves or (for) their family members who want to quit smoking. From there, we can work with them and come up with mentoring programmes to quit smoking."
Singapore is hosting the 15th World Conference on Tobacco or Health (WCTOH) from 20 to 24 March, where international experts and leaders congregate for debate as well as sharing of perspectives.
The health ambassadors will also go door-to-door to hand out Blue Ribbons and kits to help smokers quit.
The 10 markets and food centres are:
ABC Brickworks Market & Food Centre
Adam Road Food Centre
Albert Centre Market & Food Centre
Blk 79 and 79A Circuit Road Food Centre
Blk 89 Circuit Road Food Centre
Ghim Moh Market & Food Centre
Kaki Bukit 511 Market & Food Centre
Kovan Hougang Market & Food Centre
Upper Boon Keng Market & Food Centre
Tampines Round Market & Food Centre
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