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“Quit to Win” Smoke-free Community Campaign Reassures Significance of Smoke-free Lifestyle
2020.06.24
Hong Kong Council on Smoking and Health (COSH) organized 10th “Quit to Win” Contest cum Smoke-free Community Campaign in 2019 to 2020 with the support from 18 District Councils, 22 district working partners, over 30 trade associations from catering, construction and transportation industry as well as Correctional Services Department, CLP Power Hong Kong Limited, Hong Kong Jockey Club, Link Asset Management Limited. The campaign aims to encourage smokers to get back healthy smoke-free lifestyle and promote the vision of building up a smoke-free community. The territory-wide 10th “Quit to Win” Contest cum Smoke-free Community Campaign has organized over 80 recruitment and promotion activities between June and September 2019, which successfully mobilized more than 1,000 smokers to quit and spread the smoke-free messages to over 55,000 members of public.

COSH held “Quit to Win” Smoke-free Community Campaign Awarding cum Kick-off Ceremony today (24 June) to award the winners and successful quitters of the 10th “Quit to Win” Contest and commend the District Councils and various organizations for their tremendous support. Honorable guests included Prof Sophia CHAN, JP, (Secretary for Food and Health), Dr FUNG Ying (Head, Tobacco and Alcohol Control Office, Department of Health), Prof LAM Tai-hing, BBS, JP (Chair Professor of Community Medicine and Sir Robert Kotewall Professor in Public Health, School of Public Health, The University of Hong Kong), Mr Antonio KWONG, MH (COSH Chairman), Ms Yolanda NG, MH (COSH Vice-chairman) and Ms Vienna LAI (COSH Executive Director). To motivate more smokers to quit and sustain to promote smoke-free lifestyle, COSH launched the 11th “Quit to Win” Contest cum Smoke-free Community Campaign this month with the continuous support of the District Councils. During the ceremony, officiating guests called for the public’s support to tobacco control works, and expressed their hopes for another year of continued success to the campaign.

Mr Antonio KWONG, COSH Chairman said, “Smokers are advised to quit as soon as possible. Smoking cessation could not only strengthen the lung function and immune system, but also avoid the risk of viruses caused by smoking. Indeed, COVID-19 patients who smoke are more likely to suffer from severe complications than non-smokers. To genuinely quit smoking, one should look for suitable and effective methods, and should stay away from all forms of tobacco products including heat-not-burn tobacco products and e-cigarettes. COSH appeals the community to jointly combat the smoking hazards by resisting the partnership with tobacco industry and supporting tobacco control measures, including total ban of alternative smoking products, raising tobacco tax, extension of smoke-free area, etc. It envisions to reduce smoking prevalence to 5% as soon as possible so as to initiate a total ban of smoking and achieve smoke-free.

The Secretary for Food and Health, Prof Sophia CHAN, congratulated the winners and successful quitters of the contest. She remarked, “Taking public health as the paramount consideration, the Government will put forward the legislative proposal of a full ban of alternative smoking products in the next term of LegCo when the opportunity arises; and continue our multi-pronged approach comprises legislation, enforcement, publicity, education, smoking cessation services and taxation, to further reduce the smoking prevalence and strive for a smoke-free Hong Kong.”

Other guests, successful quitters as well as artists Ms Joey WONG and Mr Simon ON also participated and engaged in interactive games and performances that reminded the public about the smoking hazards and promoted the benefits of quitting. The winners of the 10th “Quit to Win” Contest shared their experiences and tips of smoking cessation.

The champion, Mr OR Man-mo had smoked since he was primary 5 and used to smoke on average 25 sticks of cigarette per day. For the health of his own self and his son, he determined to cut off. He had tried to quit smoking by using e-cigarette and heat-not-burn tobacco products but failed. Both products neither help him quit smoking nor reduce tobacco consumption. He even smoked more by using heat-not-burn tobacco products. The worst situation was that he smoked over 20 sticks of heat-not-burn tobacco per day, in addition to conventional cigarettes. Since he joined the 10th “Quit to Win” Contest, he received proper smoking cessation advices and Chinese acupuncture which helped easing the withdrawal symptoms. Having quitted smoking, Mr OR’s health condition and temper are apparently improved. He has also developed a healthy habit of jogging with his family after dinner.

First runner-up, Mr CHENG Chi-chung took up smoking at 18 years old when he studied abroad alone. After returning to Hong Kong, he realized a strong social atmosphere for being smoke-free due to the tightened tobacco control measures. As smoking behaviour is generally denormalized, he hid the smoking habit from his friends and even had a thought of cessation. He smoked mainly for the socializing and at work, and was unable to make up the mind to quit. Mr CHENG knew that his parents always worried about his health. To ease their worries and to have a healthy body to take care of them, he determined to join the contest after an inspiring dialogue with “Quit to Win” helpers at the recruitment booths. He commented that caring and encouragement from staff of the contest and the regular follow-up were the key reasons for his success in quitting.

Second runner-up, Ms CHUNG Kin-yan has smoked for 13 years. Ms CHUNG owns two cats and two dogs, she determined to quit for the concern of pets’ health. One of her dogs was getting old and has some health problems. The veterinarian advised her to stop smoking in order not to worsen pets’ health. One day, a dog grabbed away her cigarette pack when she was about to smoke. She believed it was a sign of her pets’ complaint about her smoking behaviours. It triggered her thought to join the 10th “Quit to Win” Contest to safeguard the health of the pets. She found that her skin quality is enhanced and has better body ascent upon the success of quit. She also developed a running habit with her boyfriend and pets.

Photo Captions
COSH thanked the District Councils and various organizations for their tremendous support to the 10th “Quit to Win” Smoke-free Community Campaign.
COSH thanked the District Councils and various organizations for their tremendous support to the 10th “Quit to Win” Smoke-free Community Campaign.

The winners of 10th “Quit to Win” Contest (from left) Mr CHENG Chi-chung (first runner-up), Mr OR Man-mo (champion) and Ms CHUNG Kin-yan (second runner-up) shared their inspiring quit stories and tips with the audience.
The winners of 10th “Quit to Win” Contest (from left) Mr CHENG Chi-chung (first runner-up), Mr OR Man-mo (champion) and Ms CHUNG Kin-yan (second runner-up) shared their inspiring quit stories and tips with the audience.
 
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