A national health survey which was conducted in between 2019 and 2020 showed that while smoking has declined in 2020, binge drinking rates has risen.
According to the Ministry of Health, A total of about 6,000 people took the survey at home over two years, while another 5,000 went for health examinations.
The purpose of these surveys is to help the Ministry of Health (MOH) and Health Promotion Board (HPB) to track the health progress of the population in line with the targets set for the nation as well as to aid them in planning programs and policies.
The survey shows that residents between the ages of 18 and 39 were the main cause of the increase.
Binge drinking is defined as having more than five drinks in a drinking session for men and four in a drinking session for women.
The ratio compared between the two genders for binge drinking are 14.6% for men and 6.5% for women.
Amongst the races, the Chinese stood at 11.6%, the Indians at 11.4% and the Malays at 1.7%.
Amongst the education levels, those with post-secondary education stood at 13% compared to those with secondary or primary education at 4.4%.
The highest proportion of binge drinkers for men are around the ages of 30-39 while the highest proportion for women are around the ages of 18-39.
The binge drinkers will often first drink at pubs and lounges before going for a ‘second round’ at a friend’s or relative’s home.
The survey shows that the percentage of smokers have dropped, probably due to the age restrictions put in place for the purchase of cigarettes progressively from 18 to 21.
11.8% of the population polled n 2017 were smokers as compared to only 10.1% in 2020.
Amongst the two genders polled last year, the percentage of male smokers in the population was at 17% compared to women at 3.4%.
Adults aged between 50 to 59 also made up 13.4% of the smokers.
The survey also asked the smokers if they have plans to stop smoking.
48.3% of the smokers said that they planned to quit smoking but only 19.3% had planned to quit within the next year or 12 months.
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