Kuala Lumpur, 06 October 2003 - Student Affairs Executive, Lim Boon Wah admitted that he decided to quit smoking while supervising the launch of the No-Smoking Campaign at UCSI (University College Sedaya International) recently.

Lim, who was the man behind the No-Smoking Campaign organised by the Student Council, said his decision was partly due to the concern that he now has for his own health.

"I encounter difficulties in breathing, especially when I go jogging," he admitted, adding that in the past, he used to smoke a minimum of three packets of cigarettes every week.

"Besides, cigarette prices have gone up. It is not wise to burn away one’s hard-earned money," he said. Lim started smoking while he was still in college a few years ago.

The campaign also saw the soft launch of UCSI’s Quit Smoking Clinic, the first of its kind among private colleges and universities.

The Quit Smoking Clinic is an initiative of the Government to encourage people to go through a specially-designed programme to quit smoking. At UCSI, the project is modelled after the Institute Perubatan Respiratori in Kuala Lumpur Hospital.

At the launch at UCSI, Sister Christy Phillip and her team represented the Quit Smoking Clinic at Kuala Lumpur Hospital’s Institut Perubatan Respiratori while from the Ministry of Health, Dr Haji Salehudin Abubakar presented an overview of smoking as a social problem in Malaysia, especially with the young people.

Speaking at the launch, Vice Chancellor and President of UCSI, Peter Ng said UCSI fully supports the idea of a non-smoking campus. "We are not ashamed to let you know that we would not tolerate smoking on this campus," he said.

Ng expressed his heartfelt appreciation to pharmaceutical companies such as Pfizer Consumer Health Care and Pharmalink which contributed towards the launch of Quit Smoking Clinic at UCSI. "We need more of these companies coming forward to contribute towards a good cause," he said.

According to Benny Efendie from the School of Pharmacy, who mooted the idea of Quit Smoking Clinic at UCSI, studies show that tobacco use is the main cause of premature and preventable death in Malaysia, with some 10,000 deaths due to smoking reported every year.

"This is an alarming figure, considering that smoking is becoming a trend with the young people at the college level," he said. "This will surely increase the incidence of death due to cancer of the lungs in the years to come. Our idea is to help people quit smoking before it is too late."