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Publicity Event of Elderly Smoking Cessation Promotion Project 2018-19 “Be Healthy, Be a Smoke-free Elderly”
2018.11.14
Hong Kong Council on Smoking and Health (COSH) is committed to promote smoke-free lifestyle and construct a smoke-free Hong Kong. With the aims to raise the awareness of elderly on smoking hazards, clarify the misconceptions of smoking, and encourage smokers to quit, COSH has organized Elderly Smoking Cessation Promotion Project since 2012. The campaign shares the smoke-free messages with more than 2,000 elderly every year.

In 2018-19, COSH promotes the smoke-free messages through different channels, including health talks, visits to elderly centres, community promotion activities and media promotion, etc. A publicity event was held today to further enhance the smoke-free concepts among the elder people as well as the general public. The officiating guests included Dr Jeff LEE (Head of Tobacco and Alcohol Control Office, Department of Health), Dr LAM Ching-choi, BBS, JP (Chairman, Elderly Commission), Mr Antonio KWONG, MH (COSH Chairman) and Ms Yolanda NG, MH (COSH Vice-chairman).

Mr Antonio KWONG, COSH Chairman remarked, “Elderly smokers have lower intention to quit because they may hold misconceptions on smoking and underestimate the benefits of quit smoking. Whenever one stops smoking, there will be benefits to not only the health of himself/herself, but also a smoke-free healthy environment as well as a more intimate relationship with family and friends due to elimination of secondhand and third-hand smoke.” Therefore, COSH encourages the public to motivate their smoking family members and friends to kick the habit.

Supported by the Smoke-free Elderly Ambassadors of New Territories West Elder Academies Cluster, COSH conducted street promotions in various districts on 27 and 28 October 2018 to encourage smoking cessation. Non-smokers were invited to write down caring messages to support family members and friends to quit smoking. Smokers were motivated to make a quit pledge and referred to the smoking cessation services. Over 260 members of public submitted the encouraging messages and more that 5,000 citizens received the smoke-free information. The selected encouraging messages were broadcasted in a radio programme so that their cheering notes and warm advices could be shared with more smokers and the mass public.

Free and professional smoking cessation services are provided by the Government and other non-profit-making organizations in Hong Kong. Dr Jeff LEE, Head of Tobacco and Alcohol Control Office, Department of Health recommended smokers to call the Integrated Smoking Cessation Hotline (1833183) to seek professional assistance, including telephone counselling, nicotine replacement therapy treatment, acupuncture, medication, etc. Support from others is the key for smokers to make up their mind and determination to quit. Dr LAM Ching-choi, Chairman of Elderly Commission encouraged elderly to act as Smoke-free Elderly Ambassador and show encouragements to the quitters.

In a role play with the Smoke-free Elderly Ambassadors, Prof LAM Tai-hing, Chair Professor of Community Medicine and Sir Robert Kotewall Professor in Public Health, School of Public Health, The University of Hong Kong broke the myths of smoking and show correct concepts on quitting. Successful quitter, Mr CHU Kam-wing shared his quit experience and benefits of being smoke-free. Artists Ms Victoria LAM and Mr Andy LEUNG also took part in the publicity event and promoted the smoke-free messages through interactive games.

Photo Captions

The officiating guests inserted the inspirational smoke-free messages, encouraging smokers to quit and calling for other to support smoking cessation.
The officiating guests inserted the inspirational smoke-free messages, encouraging smokers to quit and calling for other to support smoking cessation.

Prof LAM Tai-hing and the Smoke-free Elderly Ambassadors demonstrate how to encourage other to quit and broke the myths of smoking.
Prof LAM Tai-hing and the Smoke-free Elderly Ambassadors demonstrate how to encourage other to quit and broke the myths of smoking.

Smoke-free Elderly Ambassadors shared the smoke-free messages with the general public in street promotions in October 2018.
Smoke-free Elderly Ambassadors shared the smoke-free messages with the general public in street promotions in October 2018.
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