Trade in cigarettes for chicken rice, laksa, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

Trade in cigarettes for chicken rice, laksa

A hawker chain selling chicken rice and laksa hopes to do its bit to help smokers kick the habit by offering vouchers to those who quit.

Until Feb 28, smokers can head to any of OK Chicken Rice’s six outlets or Humfull Prawn Laksa’s three outlets and scan a QR code to pledge their commitment to give up nicotine.

Upon verification, those who signed up will receive 10 vouchers worth $30 in total, with five each for use at one of the hawker chains.

After six months, participants will be given another 10 vouchers worth $30. These will be issued on a trust basis, and participants do not need to prove they have truly quit smoking.

When contacted, owner Daniel Tan said verification would not be a stringent process. “Despite what you see online, most Singaporeans are kind and don’t cheat,” he said.

He added it was not a sales gimmick, but rather an opportunity to do good.

“We like to carry out campaigns to further social causes,” said the 43-year-old, who has spearheaded other similar campaigns previously – including one that saw the delivery of free meals to healthcare workers at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020.

This latest campaign comes after Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong announced an increase in tobacco excise duty on Feb 14 during his Budget speech.

Upon scanning the QR code, smokers will be redirected to a form to fill in their particulars.

A representative from the chain will then get in touch with them in six months’ time to verify certain details before the vouchers are mailed out.

No minimum purchase will be required to redeem the vouchers, but only one can be used at any one time and the vouchers can only be used for dining in. The cheapest items on the stalls’ menus are a small plate of chicken rice at $3.80, and a bowl of laksa with cockles for $4.50.

A few people have already made queries, said Mr Tan, although he was unable to provide the current number of sign-ups.

OK Chicken Rice’s outlets are in Ang Mo Kio, Havelock Road, Hougang, St George’s Road, West Coast and Yishun, while Humfull Prawn Laksa operates in Hougang, Yishun and West Coast.

Entrepreneur Daniel Tan, who owns OK Chicken Rice and Humfull Prawn Laksa, hopes people will quit smoking through his latest campaign. PHOTO: ST FILE