THERE are two ongoing campaigns – anti-smoking and rear seat-belts – which the public seems to be ignoring. Both are for the good of the people, but just look at the response.

antismoking.jpgThe anti-smoking campaign has been running for years, but it appears that more people are picking up the habit. The Health Ministry and other agencies must have spent millions, if not billions of ringgit on advertisements and other efforts to educate the public, especially the young on the dangers of smoking.

Pictures showing how a damaged lung looks as a result of nicotine blockages and other horrible pictures simply no longer have any effect. Similarly, banning smoking in certain confined areas have not achieved the desired result. What is more disturbing to non-smokers is that even those who are supposed to enforce the law on smoking are themselves happily puffing away in restricted areas.

The same with enforcement of the use of rear seat belts. There have been many complaints about this new law. Forget about its advantages and the safety aspects. Most of the complaints I have read are of how much it is going to cost to install rear seat belts, and show no appreciation that the government is doing something positive for motorists. It seems the lives of loved ones must be calculated in ringgit and sen.

Perhaps the only way to shock the peo-ple would be to let smoking-related deaths soar. Only then will the public wake up.

The same applies to rear seat belts. Stop the campaign, fatalities of rear passengers will rise and maybe then car owners will come to their senses and install the belts.

So if people do not wish to heed warn-ings on the dangers of smoking and not using rear seat belts, so be it. Let’s channel the money to some other worthwhile cause like helping the poor.