A reward package that comprises of promotions, vacations, appliances and cash is being offered by the Malacca Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam to civil servants for quitting smoking.
The scheme is under discussion and details about the package are being ironed out by the Chief Minister and his government. Education, counselling and a reward of extra annual leave for those who substituted for smokers who were away on smoking-related illness are being considered.
The reward system is expected to motivate people to quit smoking within a stipulated time. Smoking has proved to be a draining problem on the economy, involving high medical costs and lower productivity. The Health Ministry has undertaken several campaigns such as increasing tobacco prices to issuing health warnings to the targeted 3 million smokers; and the reward package is the latest.
Nevertheless, there has been criticism from those who feel that promotions or cash rewards should be given only based on key performance index. The importance of this award would lose its value by a quit smoking reward system.
Also, it has been suggested that people can be educated about the dangers of smoking; they cannot be monitored all the time.