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“Support to Enact a Total Ban on E-cigarettes and Other New Tobacco Products” Briefing Session Spread Smoke-free Messages and Protect Public Health
2018.10.23
Hong Kong Council on Smoking and Health (“COSH”) is committed to promote the healthy smoke-free lifestyle and educate people not to use e-cigarettes, heat-not-burn tobacco products and other new tobacco products. However, these products gain popularity in recent years. They are promoted as healthy, no harm or less harmful. The novel packaging design and various flavours attract youngsters to use. E-cigarette use among youngsters in other countries surged exponentially. Commissioner of the US Food and Drug Administration described that the use of e-cigarettes in secondary school students has become an “epidemic”. It is alarming that the use in Hong Kong students has also increased substantially.

COSH organizes the “Support to Enact a Total Ban on E-cigarettes and Other New Tobacco Products” Briefing Session to strengthen schools’ and community’s awareness on e-cigarettes and other new tobacco products, and to enhance the knowledge on the harms of these products, so that appropriate education could be delivered to the young people and prevent them from using these products, uptake of smoking and the related hazards. The first two briefing sessions had been successfully conducted on 21 September 2018 and 12 October 2018 respectively with a total of over 300 participants, including teachers, students, social workers, parents, nurses and public health practitioners. The last briefing session was conducted on 22 October 2018 with over a hundred of audiences and guests attended.

Moderator of the briefing session was Prof LAM Tai-hing, Chair Professor of Community Medicine & Sir Robert Kotewall Professor in Public Health, School of Public Health, The University of Hong Kong. Speakers included Mr Antonio KWONG, COSH Chairman; Dr Daniel HO, Associate Professor, School of Public Health, The University of Hong Kong; Dr David LAM, Surgeon. Mr Antonio KWONG elaborated the marketing strategies and use of e-cigarettes and heat-not-burn tobacco products in Hong Kong and the globe. Mr Kwong said, “packaging and marketing strategies of e-cigarettes and other new tobacco products targeted at youth. These products are promoted as trendy items. Harmful chemicals were also found in e-cigarettes and other new tobacco products, bringing health risks to the public. COSH and numerous sectors of the community support the total ban on e-cigarettes and other new tobacco products. The Government should enact the legislation promptly to prevent its epidemic and protect the health of people, especially the next generation.”

Dr Daniel HO presented the local and overseas findings, showing that e-cigarettes and the new tobacco products do not aid smokers to quit but are the gateway to youth smoking. Dr David LAM informed the harmful chemical substances and health risks of these products. Nicotine is highly addictive while several carcinogenic substances pose detrimental impacts to health. Legislative Council member, Dr Hon Pierre CHAN and Hon IP Kin-yuen also attended the first and the third briefing session respectively, and showed their support to the total ban of e-cigarettes and other new tobacco products in order to nip in the bud.

In the briefing session, participants consolidated their knowledge of e-cigarettes and new tobacco products as well as expressed their supportive views to the total ban of these products and smoking. COSH hopes that the Government, Legislative Council, all community sectors and the general public could join hand together to enhance the effort on tobacco control, including tobacco tax increase, implementation of plain packaging, tobacco product display ban at points of sale, extension of smoke-free areas, placing legal onus on venue managers who should be liable for smoking offences, increasing the legal tobacco sales age, tightened enforcement, more resources for smoking cessation services and smoke-free education, etc. COSH also urges the Government to formulate a timeline to ban smoking so as to actualize the goal of smoke-free Hong Kong as soon as possible.

Photo captions:

For the sake of public health, speakers and guests supported the total ban on e-cigarettes and other new tobacco products, and urged for a timeline for total ban of smoking.
For the sake of public health, speakers and guests supported the total ban on e-cigarettes and other new tobacco products, and urged for a timeline for total ban of smoking.

Legislative Council member, Hon IP Kin-yuen hoped that e-cigarettes and new tobacco products can be banned as soon as possible to safeguard public health.
Legislative Council member, Hon IP Kin-yuen hoped that e-cigarettes and new tobacco products can be banned as soon as possible to safeguard public health.

Legislative Council member, Dr Hon Pierre CHAN appealed for public support to enact the legislation as soon as possible.
Legislative Council member, Dr Hon Pierre CHAN appealed for public support to enact the legislation as soon as possible.

Moderator and speakers interacted with participants in the Q&A session and enhanced their knowledge on e-cigarettes and the new smoking products.
Moderator and speakers interacted with participants in the Q&A session and enhanced their knowledge on e-cigarettes and the new smoking products.

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