Your school is having a month-long ‘A Healthy Body Campaign’. As President of the Health Club of your school, you decide to give a speech on the ‘Tak nak Campaign’ recently launched by the government.
Tak Nak Campaign
A very good morning to our dear Principal, Mr. Hasnan bin Jaafar, teachers and students.
Recently, our former Prime Minister, Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi launched an anti-smoking campaign called “Tak Nak”. You can now see this short and rhyming catch phrase “Tak Nak” everywhere – on billboards, posters, TV ads, and sometimes I even hear it on the radio. Though some people have criticised our government for setting aside a staggering sum of RM100 million over 6 years for the campaign, it is nothing compared to the huge amounts that tobacco companies spend to promote smoking.
But in this war against smoking, money definitely talks; it is necessary for the Tak Nak Campaign to constanly remind us of the hazard of smoking because about 50 Malaysian teenagers light up for the first time every day. In fact, some of these youth progress steadily from this to regular use, with addiction raking hold within a few years. And this is despite the warning on every pack of cigarettes that states unequivocally “Smoking is dangerous to your health”.
What can the Tak Nak Campaign do to combat this? Their aggressive advertising creates media awareness among the public, especially among the fashionable young crowd, that smokers have yellowed teeth and suffer from shortness of breath and tells them that it is not cool to smoke. It is also not responsible of them to affect non-smokers with second-hand smoke.
Also, there is a succession of infomercials on TV and in the papers showing the debilitating effects of tobacco addiction on the body and gruesome statistics of smoke-related deaths. We are now familiar with the graphic pictures of damaged lungs on billboards which should scare people into not smoking. This works, as I know some of my friends are quitting now, or trying to reduce the number of cigarettes they smoke per week.
However, I feel any anti-smoking campaign is more effective if other people and organisations are actively involved too. Yes, the first step has been taken by the top, but sad to say, many of our politicians smoke themselves. Nearer to home, so do some of our parents and teachers.
These adults have to be good role models by not smoking themselves. If they do smoke, they should tell their children and students that they regret that they ever started, and then take steps to quit smoking as soon as possible. They must practise what they preach.
On a more positive note, I commend the Malaysia Amateur Athletic Union for its zero-tolerance of smoking because they know that smoking and health just do not mix. How can our sportsmen excel if they cannot stop smoking.
Dear teachers and students, thank you for your attention. Let me end my speech by reiterating that smoking is a bad habit, so make Tak Nak your mantra. If you have started smoking, say Tak Nak and quit! And if you haven’t started smoking, say know that smoking not only damages your health but you are also literally burning your money.