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Brunei – Health Issues

Brunei is a small Southeast Asian country with a population of approximately 460,000. The life expectancy in Brunei is around 75 years old. While the country has made progress in improving public health in recent years, there are still several common health issues that affect the population. In this article, we will explore some of the most prevalent health issues in Brunei and examine the country’s attitudes towards smoking.

Common Health Issues in Brunei


Obesity is a growing problem in Brunei, as it is in many other countries. In 2019, it was reported that approximately 20% of adults in Brunei were classified as obese. This is a significant increase from previous years, and it is likely due to changes in lifestyle and diet. The traditional Bruneian diet is based on rice, noodles, and seafood, which can be high in calories and fat, and this may be contributing to the rise in obesity rates.

Heart Disease

Heart disease is a significant health issue in Brunei, accounting for around 26% of all deaths. Some of the risk factors for heart disease in Brunei include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and physical inactivity.


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Cancer is another prevalent health issue in Brunei, and it is the third leading cause of death, accounting for around 12% of all deaths. The most common types of cancer in Brunei are breast cancer, lung cancer, and colorectal cancer. Some of the risk factors for cancer in Brunei include smoking, alcohol consumption, and a poor diet.

Dengue Fever

Dengue fever is a significant health issue in Brunei, and it is one of the countries with the highest number of reported cases in the region. The disease is spread by mosquitoes, and it can cause severe symptoms, including fever, headache, and joint pain.

Smoking in Brunei

Smoking is relatively common in Brunei, with around 14% of adults reporting that they smoke. While this is lower than in many other countries, smoking rates are still a concern in Brunei due to the country’s small population.


The government of Brunei has implemented several measures to reduce smoking rates, including:

  • A ban on smoking in public places, including bars and restaurants
  • A ban on tobacco advertising and sponsorship
  • A requirement for graphic health warnings on cigarette packets
  • Higher taxes on tobacco products

These measures have been effective in reducing smoking rates in Brunei, and it is expected that they will continue to be effective in the future.


Attitudes towards smoking in Brunei are generally negative, and smoking is increasingly seen as a socially unacceptable habit. However, there are still some people who smoke, and they may be subject to social stigma or ostracism. This is particularly true in workplaces, where smoking is often prohibited.

Brunei faces several health issues that are common to other countries, including obesity, heart disease, cancer, and dengue fever. However, the government has taken steps to address these issues, and it is expected that the situation will improve in the future. Smoking rates are decreasing in Brunei, and the government’s measures to reduce smoking rates are likely to be effective in the long term. Overall, Brunei has a relatively strong healthcare system that provides access to basic medical care, and the country’s small size allows for more personalized and individualized care. As long as the government continues to prioritize public health and wellbeing, Brunei is well-positioned to continue improving the health of its citizens. However, there is still work to be done to address the most pressing health issues facing the population, and this will require continued investment in healthcare services and public health initiatives.

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