The Ministry of Health, in its effort to promote awareness for smoke free premises, has been collaborating with places of worship to promote its message. Deputy Minister of Health Datuk Seri Dr Hilmi Hj Yahaya said this when presenting a ‘Blue Ribbon’ certificate to Gudwara Greentown Sikh temple recently.
The ‘Smoke Free Places of Worship’ programme is a MySihat programme to raise greater awareness to prohibit smoking in any public building or place where gathering is for religious purposes.
The programme was started last year. The Gudwara is the first in the country to participate in the programme. It is also the third place of worship to participate in this programme after the National Mosque in Ipoh and a Church in Taiping.
Hilmi said that “smoking is a non-communicable disease similar to diabetes which is related to individual lifestyle. The incidence of patients having heart attacks at an early age as early as 27 years old is a worrying trend,” he said referring to data gathered at his locality in Balik Pulau, Penang.
“Gudwaras are good models as their practice does not allow the bringing in of any form of intoxicants into their premises. The presentation of the Blue Ribbon to the Gudwara is to recognise its contribution to the programme and hopefully more places of worship will participate in the programme”.