Brunei - An imam blasts tactics to keep people addicted to nicotine..

June 8, 2010 - Bandar Seri Begawan (the capital and largest city of the Sultanate of Brunei) - religious authorities (An imam - Islamic leadership position, often the leader of a mosque and the community) blasted manipulative tactics that entice smokers to continue puffing with the aid of e-cigarettes and other new hi-tech tools claiming it is wrong to sell such products that violate Section (6) of the Tobacco Order 2005, that states the prohibition of fake tobacco products.

They claimed that such products are publicised as better in terms of health and the public is urged to be cautious against such cunning tactics. Cigarette firms and industries striving to continue their business are ensuring that their business is not in jeopardy. "They are getting cleverer in attracting smokers to continue their habit," the Imams said in their Friday sermon yesterday.

Those who bring, sell or offer to sell items that resembles tobacco products could be fined $10,000 (10,000 Brunei Dollar = 7,168.97 US Dollar).

The Ministry of Health (MoH) revealed that a total of $20.7 million (21,700,000 Brunei Dollar = 15,556,671 US Dollar) was spent on medicine to treat chronic diseases like cancer, heart disease and diabetes in 2008, amounting to 51 percent of the total expenditure for medicines in 2008. The figures do not include hospital treatment expenditures, costs of intensive treatment, surgery and outpatient services and expenses needed to send patients overseas.

One must do physical exercises, control diet, reduce the intake of oily, extra-sweet and salty foods, drink lots of water and eat more fruits.

We must also ensure the Halalness of the food and not eat food that could jeopardise one's health. Islam prohibits food and drinks that could affect the individual like pork, liquor, misuse of drugs and so on.

Smoking leads to many diseases like cancer. The use of tobacco leads to death up to four million deaths i.e. one death for every 10 seconds.

Related news briefs:
Brunei - smoking top cause of cancer death..;
Brunei - national tobacco control panel to create smoke-free society..

As stated in Tobacco Order 2005, those found smoking in public places like government and private buildings, shopping complexes, food outlets, restaurant walkways, hospitals, schools, bus stations and stops, as well as markets and `Tamus' can be fined not more than $1,000 (1,000 Brunei Dollar = 716.897 US Dollar).

Since 1994, the government through the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) declared all government buildings at ministries and departments as non-smoking areas and such calls have been repeatedly stated in the PMO circulars.

Based on a survey conducted at the end of 2009 by the Ministry of Health, it was found that out of 41 government buildings, 14 buildings did not paste the no-smoking sign.

Cigarette butts were also found at 38 government buildings even though some government buildings provide a special smoking area equipped with comfortable seats and butts dumping site.

The government controls the selling of cigarettes. Health warnings are also put on every cigarette packet.

Those found selling cigarettes or tobacco products without licence could be fined up to $10,000. Those who sell cigarettes or tobacco products without health warnings could be slapped with a $20,000 fine and imprisonment.

A fine of $10,000 is imposed for those who sell cigarettes to teenagers aged below 18 years. -- Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin

Reference: Imams Ire On E-Cigarettes, written by Azlan Othman,, 6/5/2010.