Kota Kinabalu Area II Health Officer, Dr Suhaila Osman, said a total of 90 smokers took part in the programme in 2011 and out of these, 40 of them managed to quit smoking.
"In 2012, out of 106 smokers, a total of 44 people succeeded in quitting and we hope to see an increase in this figure this year," she said during her opening address at a ceremony held in conjunction with the World No Tobacco Day here, Tuesday. The event was officiated by State Health Principal Assistant Director (non-communicable diseases), Dr Nirmal Kaur.
She said there are about 30 health clinics and hospitals throughout the State which provides Quit Smoking programmes to assist smokers who wish to quit smoking.
In Kota Kinabalu, she said, there are four health clinics which provide such services, namely in Luyang, Menggatal, Inanam and Telipok.
"This is part of the Government's initiative in assisting those who wish to stop smoking and start living a smoke-free lifestyle," she said, adding that counselling, T. Varenicline and nicotine substitutes to treat nicotine addiction are given free.
Meanwhile, Kaur said based on the Global Adult Tobacco Survey in 2011, the number of smokers in Malaysia is estimated to be more than four million people, thus, comprehensive measures will be implemented by the Health Ministry including amending Regulations of Tobacco Control.
In Sabah, she said, only 431 people have taken the opportunity to benefit from the health facility (Quit-Smoking programme) provided in health clinics and hospitals in the State.
"Out of this figure, a total of 114 smokers which is 26.5 per cent have kicked the habit," she said.
Towards this end, she urged everyone to work together to promote the health services available to their relatives, friends and the people around them so that they may also quit smoking.
Meanwhile, certificates were presented to a total of 30 former smokers who succeeded in kicking the habit after attending the six-month Quit Smoking programme held at the Luyang Health Clinic.