We all know that smokers have a higher chance of getting cardiovascular diseases and lung cancer, and what’s worse, they also put passive smokers at risk of the same ailments. In an effort to warn the public about the dangers of cigarette smoke and prevent the youth from picking up the bad habit, the Health Ministry of Malaysia has launched various campaigns like the Tak Nak (Say No) campaign, Smoke Free Generation Initiative, and mQuit Programme, among others. This year the ministry has also imposed a smoking ban in all eateries, including open air hawker areas, and launched the Speak Out campaign to encourage nonsmokers to express their right to fresh air.
The AirAsia Group is taking a stand against smoking and has declared all of its offices globally to be smoke-free premises, as well as ceasing sales of all tobacco products on its Duty-Free offerings. This No Smoking Campaign was launched at RedQ, its global headquarters in Kuala Lumpur, in the attendance of the Minister of Health Malaysia, Yang Berhormat Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad and Tan Sri Tony Fernandes, Chief Executive Officer of AirAsia Group.
For these initiatives, the airline received two main certifications of Blue Ribbon from the Ministry of Health Malaysia, in recognition of the company’s efforts to encourage and empower its Allstars and guests in creating a smoke-free environment and to quit smoking. AirAsia received two recognitions: The Blue Ribbon Outstanding Achievement Award presented to AirAsia Group CEO Tan Sri Tony Fernandes as an individual leading the smoke-free environment in AirAsia, and Blue Ribbon Beyond Certification awarded to AirAsia’s global headquarters, RedQ as a 100% smoke-free building.
The launch also saw a campaign to create more awareness about dengue. Allstars (AirAsia staff) were happy to partake in various health initiatives like clinic screenings, dental checks, awareness booths and a blood donation drive.
At the launch, the Minister of Health and his team presented an overview of smoking as a social problem in Malaysia, especially with the young people.
Speaking at the launch, Tony Fernandes said AirAsia fully supports the no smoking campaign. “Access to affordable healthcare has always been a dream of mine, but in order to achieve it, we must take steps to look after ourselves. That includes sustaining healthy behaviour and curbing habits such as smoking and vaping. I couldn’t be more proud to achieve both The Blue Ribbon Outstanding Achievement Award and Blue Ribbon Beyond status in support of the Ministry of Health initiatives, and look forward to doing everything we can to help our Allstars and guests to live healthier and happier lives”
The minister expressed his heartfelt appreciation to companies such as AirAsia. “We are pleased that AirAsia is taking steps to tackle this important initiative and I congratulate them on being awarded Blue Ribbon Beyond certification. Efforts like this will enable us to educate the public about the health benefits that come with having a smoke-free environment. I encourage other organisations to join AirAsia in this move to creating a healthier environment for Malaysia.”
PHOTOS: Alex Chia