Health authorities target shisha smoking with new campaign…

Posted on 24 March 2012

…even as Singapore heads for slower economic growth.

According to youths, this man called Tony who is in the new video campaign against shisha smoking is too "fugly" to warrant any attention. He also looks too much like a virgin and doesn't resonate with them, youths claim.

There is a new campaign in town.

And it is guaranteed not to change your life.

From March 23 until April 6, SingTel mobile phone subscribers who enter within 1km of Kampong Glam, Singapore’s shisha paradise, will receive a multimedia message prompting them to watch a 18-second video showing an ugly man (see picture above), who could be a virgin, talking about the evils of smoking shisha.

Named Tony, the man in the video prattles like a twat before directing viewers to a nine-minute clip that gets all moralistic about smoking.

The purveyors of this anti-feel good campaign?

The Health Promotion Board.

However, instead of feeling turned off, youths that New Nation spoke to thought that the video is too “fugly” to get any attention.

One youth, said: “If it was Fiona Xie, they would have been watchable.”

Another said: “The man is obviously a virgin, so he doesn’t resonate with young people. Plus, if he did have sex, he looks like someone who does it with animals.”

However, there were some encouraging words by one youth: “At least it’s still better than Twilight.”

But what would the majority of people do when they receive the multimedia message from SingTel?

“Delete it,” they say.

Not surprisingly, this latest move by the HPB is motivated by the overall increase in smokers and the number of shisha joints.

In 2002, there was one shisha cafe.

Today, there are 44 such cafes.

However, more people smoking shisha is an indication that they are not engaging in chronic or persistent self-fornication or doing heroin or cocaine alone, as they are out and about in a social setting with friends in a large gathering.

One youth, summed it up accurately when he said: “It’s not as if we are doing heroin or cocaine in our cupboard at home. Shisha is a social event and people should be encouraged to come out and face society, instead of hiding behind the computer and acting like a keyboard warrior, for example.”

This post was written by:

- who has written 554 posts on New Nation.

Belmont plays the guitar, made Jamie Yeo sing his song, shook hands with Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, swam in the river above Bangladesh, visited Nagaland, outsmarted pickpockets in KL, was the editor of The Campus Observer and worships the writings of Nassim Taleb and Christopher Hitchens. He intends to be an astrophysicist, take up salsa and watch Led Zeppelin live at least once before offing it.

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