16 Sep Engage only non-smokers as youth trainers
I SECOND Madam Lilie Lim’s suggestion (“Cigarette sales: Raise minimum age”; last Tuesday).
I also urge schools to hire only trainers/coaches and camp facilitators who are non-smokers or who have given up smoking.
The Ministry of Education (MOE) has announced that coaches and trainers have to be registered (“CCA instructors need to be registered with MOE from 2015”; March 14). It should include a declaration on whether the applicant is a smoker.
I have been in the business of character and leadership education for the past 10 years and have seen that more than 60 per cent of trainers and facilitators are smokers.
They go for smoke breaks at mealtimes or free time, and their breath smells like cigarettes when they resume their training.
While they may not be smoking in the presence of the young, it sends the message that it is all right to smoke as long as they have reached the legal age. Some of the young may take them as role models.
Every teacher, parent, coach and trainer plays a very important role in moulding our younger generation’s mindset towards smoking.
It will take a long time to build a tobacco-free culture.
Is the MOE prepared to urge schools to engage only coaches, trainers and teachers who do not smoke?