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Myths & Facts of Smoking

Why do your friends smoke?

Personal reasons :

  • Curiosity or wish to try.
  • To prove oneself as (mature) enough to smoke.
  • Low self-esteem.
  • Believe in the myths of smoking.
  • Rebel against authority.

Social reasons :

  • Thinking it’s cool to smoke.
  • Pressure from friends.
  • Challenge from friends to smoke.
  • Modeling after parents/guardians or relatives who smoke.
  • Modeling after popular idols who smoke.

Environmental reasons :

  • Media influence (e.g. advertisements).
  • Easily obtained.

Myths and facts of smoking

  • Smoking is not as dangerous as some people say.
  • Most health experts agree that cigarette smoking is one of the most serious causes of death and disability in Malaysia.
  • It is easy to quit smoking.
  • Most people are unsuccessful at quitting smoking, even though half of all smokers have tried to quit at least once.
  • The bad effects of smoking is not something you will have to worry about until you are older.
  • Smoking is something that hurts you now.
  • It hurts you physically by :
    • Decreasing your ability to perform strenuous activity.
    • Increasing carbon monoxide levels in your body.
    • Causing you to smell like smoke.
    • Costing over RM 500 a year if you smoke 40 cigarettes a week.
  • Smoking means you are grown up.
  • Teenagers who do not smoke have been found to be more matured.
  • Smoking gets you friends.
  • Teenagers who do not smoke have more friends because most teenagers do not smoke.
  • Smoking gives you inspiration.
  • Many teenagers who smoke tend to get involved in negative activities that are dangerous and unlawful.
  • Smoking is cool and sophisticated.
  • Smoking has become socially less acceptable and it has been banned in most public places in Malaysia. Smoking also promotes ageing. Skin becomes less elastic, more wrinkly and saggy.
  • Cigars are safer than cigarettes.
  • Cigars have no filter, which increases the risk of negative health effects, even if it is not inhaled into the lungs.
  • Smokeless tobacco is safer.
  • Smokeless tobacco is tobacco that is chewed, inhaled or sucked. It still increases risk of mouth and throat cancer.
  • Light cigarettes are safe
  • Lights as just as dangerous.



Last Reviewed : 27 April 2012
Content Writer : Dr. Nor Saleha bt. Ibrahim Tamin
Prof. Madya Dr. Alvin Ng Lai Oon
Prof. Madya Dr. Foong Kin
Reviewer : Dr. Salmiah bt. Md. Sharif
: Dr. Wan Fadhilah bt. Wan Ismail