Educating Students on the Harmful Effects of Smoking

Published Date: 21 January 2021 02:00 PM

News Forum Letter Replies

We thank Mr Lim Teck Koon (Have holistic way of teaching students about harmful effects of smoking, Jan 11) for his suggestions.

Students are educated on the harmful effects of smoking from a young age through various subjects in our curriculum. Through Physical Education at the upper primary level, students are taught that all tobacco products, and smoking, including passive smoking, is harmful to health and can affect their fitness and stamina. They are also taught how to reject harmful substances when offered, as well as the laws and regulations against smoking.

At the secondary level, the harmful effects of smoking are also taught as part of our Science curriculum. For instance, in the lower secondary Sciences and upper secondary Biology curriculum, students learn about the harmful effects of substances in tobacco smoke such as carbon monoxide, nicotine and tar, on the human circulatory, nervous and respiratory systems. This includes lung diseases such as bronchitis. The consequences of smoking on individuals, their families and the society are also discussed as part of these lessons, such as the harmful effects on foetuses. Students also learn about carcinogens that are present in tobacco smoke in the topic of Cancer in the A-level Biology curriculum.

In Character and Citizenship Education, students are further educated on impulsive and addictive behaviours. From the lower secondary level, students are taught to recognise how these behaviours, such as smoking, upset a balanced lifestyle and cause harm to one's mental and physical well-being. Students are also taught self-control strategies, management of negative peer influences, and are encouraged to act in consideration of the well-being and safety of themselves and others.

Beyond what students learn in school, parents also play an important role in reinforcing these teachings at home, by guiding their children on the harmful effects of smoking so that they can make informed decisions on their health.

Mrs Tan Chen Kee
Divisional Director, Student Development Curriculum Division, MOE

Share this article: