Successful Quitters’ Sharing cum The 5th “Quit to Win” Prize Presentation Ceremony Quit smoking now! No excuse
2015.03.06Hong Kong Council on Smoking and Health (COSH) launched a publicity campaign targeting the middle-aged smokers today (6 Mar) under the theme of “Quit smoking now! No excuse” to alert the general public on the health hazards of smoking, to motivate smokers to quit as soon as possible and to create a social atmosphere for a smoke-free Hong Kong. COSH also presented prize to the winners of the 5th “Quit to Win” Smoke-free Community Campaign and commended the District Councils and district organizations for their support.
Officiating guests included Prof Sophia CHAN, JP (Under Secretary for Food and Health), Dr Sarah CHOI, JP (Assistant Director (Special Health Services), Department of Health), Prof LAM Tai-hing, BBS, JP (Chair Professor of Community Medicine & Sir Robert Kotewall Professor in Public Health, School of Public Health, The University of Hong Kong), Mr Antonio KWONG, MH (COSH Chairman) and Ms Yolanda NG, MH (COSH Vice-chairman).
Prof Sophia CHAN, Under Secretary for Food and Health remarked that the Government has joined hands with various non-governmental organizations in recent years by leveraging their strengths to roll out different types of free smoking cessation services, such as counseling, Chinese acupuncture and corporate smoking cessation programmes to cater for the needs of quitters and provide appropriate assistance.
COSH has been organizing the “Quit to Win” Smoke-free Community Campaign since 2009 recruiting over 1,000 smokers each year. With the continuous support of the 18 District Councils and district organizations, COSH rolled out the 5th “Quit to Win” Smoke-free Community Campaign in 2014 to convey the smoke-free messages to every corner of the society. Over 60 recruitment sessions and promotion activities were organized across the territory from June to September 2014 and attracted over 1,300 smokers to sign up and receive smoking cessation counseling.
COSH awarded the winners of the 5th “Quit to Win” Smoke-free Community Campaign with travel vouchers during the event. The champion, Mr LEE Hing-lim had smoked for more than 20 years. He had quitted for seven years but relapsed when he worked in mainland China. He could not resist the temptation as the clients distributed cigarettes to everyone in the meeting and he smoked again. He joined the “Quit to Win” smoking cessation contest to protect his wife and daughter from the hazards of secondhand and third-hand smoke. He claimed that determination was crucial to kick the habit. Quitters should also inform more people on their decision who could be their monitor. Mr Lee uploaded his certificate of smoking cessation to social media and got enormous “Like”.
The first runner-up Ms CHAN Yuk-kam spent over 20 years as a smoker and smoked one packet every day. After joining the contest, Ms Chan started to decrease the number of cigarettes she smoked until zero. She has got promoted after kicking the bad habit which she regarded as a bonus. Her supervisor noticed that she spent more time on working and no longer had the bad smell of smoke. The second runner-up Mr CHEUNG Kam-hon had smoked for more than 40 years. He got lymphoma cancer in 2007. But he continued to smoke even when the doctor advised him to stop. Mr Cheung’s decision to kick the smoking habit was a coincidence when he ran into the recruitment counter of “Quit to Win” in a shopping mall. With his determination, he quitted finally and his wife was the happiest one. His tips on cessation are deep breathing and eating candy to divert attention.
The 6th “Quit to Win” Smoke-free Community Campaign will be held in 2015. Recruitment will start in June. Stay tuned and details can be found at www.quittowin.hk.
On the other hand, COSH invited five successful quitters* from different backgrounds to share their inspiring smoking cessation stories and tips under the theme of “Quit smoking now! No excuse” to encourage the middle-aged smokers to kick the habit. They are Mr Pal SINN (artist), Mr HON Man-kwai (laryngectomee), Mr LEE Hing-lim (Champion of the 5th “Quit to Win” Smoke-free Community Campaign), Ms Montagut Chuen (animator) and Prof Patrick WONG Lung-tak, BBS, JP (accountant). A series of short episodes were produced and would be broadcasted in various platforms.
Mr Antonio KWONG, COSH Chairman said, “COSH is delighted to have five successful quitters from different background to share their experiences and difficulties, such as high nicotine dependency, failure in quitting and illnesses which many smokers may encounter. It is hoped that their stories evokes resonance among smokers and encouraged them to quit.
Mr Pal SINN composed a brand new cessation song for the campaign by managing the melody, lyric, music arrangement and vocal. Famous musician, Mr Mark LUI, who has quitted smoking earlier, was invited to be the music director. The song is to support the quitters and to promote the advantages of cessation. For details of the quitters’ stories and cessation song, please visit www.smokefree.hk/quitters. During the event, artists Ms Natalie TONG, Mr Sheldon LO, Mr Adrian CHOW and Mr James NG also spread the smoke-free messages through interesting games.
(4th from left on back row) Yolanda NG, MH (COSH Vice-chairman), Prof LAM Tai-hing, BBS, JP (Chair Professor of Community Medicine & Sir Robert Kotewall Professor in Public Health, School of Public Health, The University of Hong Kong), Prof Sophia CHAN, JP (Under Secretary for Food and Health), Mr Antonio KWONG, MH (COSH Chairman) and Dr Sarah CHOI, JP (Assistant Director (Special Health Services), Department of Health) officiated the premiere of the episodes “Quit smoking now! No excuse”.
Five successful quitters (from left) Prof Patrick WONG Lung-tak, Mr Pal SINN, Mr LEE Hing-lim, Ms Montagut Chuen and Mr Anthony TANG share their inspiring stories to encourage smokers to quit.
COSH thanked the support of the 18 District Councils and district organizations to the 5th “Quit to Win” Smoke-free Community Campaign.
*Stories of Successful Quitters:
Mr Pal SINN, artist
Mr Pal SINN had smoked for 30 years since he was 17. He knew smoking was hazardous to health and yet he continued to smoke with different excuses such as for refreshment, social needs and inspiration. On his 47-years-old birthday, he decided to quit smoking and restore health as the best gift to himself. Pal has kicked the smoking habit for 9 years and he reiterated that smoking had nothing to do with socializing.
Mr HON Man-guai, recovered from laryngeal cancer
Mr HON Man-guai picked up the smoking habit when he was 13. All of his colleagues in nightclub were smokers and he could consume 4 to 5 packs of cigarette per day. In 1989, Hon started to have a hoarse voice and even completely lost his voice. He was diagnosed with laryngeal cancer and he kicked the habit before the surgery. HON felt relieved and more energetic after saying no to smoking and recovering from cancer. He is now the vice-chairman of The New Voice of Hong Kong helping the laryngeal cancer survivors to rebuild their lives and actively disseminating smoke-free message to every corner of the city.
Ms Montagut Chuen, animator
Ms Montagut Chuen tried her first cigarette when she was a form 3 secondary school student. In 2005, when she was 22-years-old, Montagut Chuen was diagnosed with nasopharyngeal cancer. She has recovered and now records the sweets and bitters during her illness through painting to comfort the survivors from deadly diseases especially those who have been harmed by tobacco. As a nasopharyngeal cancer survivor, she still suffers from nosebleeds when she smells the cigarette smoke.
Mr Patrick WONG Lung-tak, Accountant
Mr Partick WONG Lung-tak started to smoke at 15 due to curiosity and peer pressure. He used to consume 3 packs of cigarette a day and the bad smell of smoking caused him missing lots of valuable family time as his kids refused to get close to him. He restored his happy family life by quitting smoking as a gift to his kids in 1995. His health was greatly improved and he doesn’t have to gasp for breath anymore. In order to promote smoke-free message, Patrick acts as a role model to encourage smokers to quit by setting up the Quit-Winners Club.