SINGAPORE, July 20 – 50 riders completed a 100-kilometre cycle in support of a movement to prevent the sale of cigarettes to Singaporeans born after the year 2000.

Dr William Tan, paralympian and inspirational speaker, led the riders to complete the inaugural Ride for a Tobacco-Free Generation 2000 event, organised by Towards Tobacco-Free Singapore.

Dr William Tan sets off on 5km ceremonial ride after completing the 100km Ride for Tobacco-Free Generation 2000 with millennium child in tow. Photo | Royson Poh
Riders with children in special bicycle seats join in the 5km ceremonial ride in support of prohibiting the sale of cigarettes for Singaporeans born after the year 2000. Photo | Royson Poh
Dr William Tan arrives at CHIJ Toa Payoh Secondary School, the end point of the 100km Ride for a Tobacco-Free Generation 2000 event. Photo | Royson Poh
Participants for the Ride for Tobacco-Free Generation 2000 included doctors, health workers and their family members. Photo | Royson Poh
Riders and supporters ended the event with a cheer for a Tobacco-Free Generation 2000. Photo | Royson Poh

Despite high cigarette taxes and laws that require cigarettes companies to include warnings on cigarette boxes, the number of young smokers in Singapore is on the rise. The National Health Survey 2010 reported that the prevalence of daily smoking amongst Singaporeans increased from 12.6% in 2007 to 14.3% in 2010.

With prevention efforts losing effectiveness, Towards Tobacco-Free Singapore advocates denying access to tobacco for Singaporeans born after the year 2000.

A research paper proposing a ban on the sales of cigarettes to those born after 2000, by the National Cancer Centre and the National University of Singapore, reported that more than 70 percent of Singaporeans supported the ban. Even amongst smokers, 60 percent supported the ban.

“Smokers know that cigarettes are bad and many of my patients who smoke are supportive of a total band on cigarettes,“ said Dr Ang Seng Bin, participant in Ride for TFG2000.

As a statement that smoking should be de-normalized for our future generations, Dr Janil Puthucheary, Member of Parliament, Pasir-Ris Punggol Group Representative Constituency joined the last 5 kilometres of the ride.

Infographics Update Oct 29, 2013

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