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E-Newsletter - February 2018




February 2018

Recent Events



"Smoke-free Catering Force" Programme Awards Presentation Ceremony

To protect the health of catering employees and the public, COSH launched the “Smoke-free Catering Force” programme. Around 100 restaurants and catering companies joined as “Premier Smoke-free Restaurant”, benefiting over 12,700 employees. The “Smoke-free Cooking Contest” also received over 60 creative and healthy menus and more than 1,400 citizens voted for their favourite menus through social media to support smokers to kick the habit. An awards presentation ceremony was held on 2 February. Programme details and list of awardees

Public Forum "Making Hong Kong a Smoke-free City" Collects public views on tobacco control policies 

To evaluate the effectiveness of tobacco control policies in Hong Kong and understand the views of the public, Hong Kong Council on Smoking and Health (COSH) collaborated with Radio 1 of Radio Television Hong Kong to organize a public forum “Making Hong Kong a Smoke-free City”. Guests including Prof LAM Tai-hing, BBS, JP (Chair Professor of Community Medicine cum Sir Robert Kotewall Professor in Public Health, School of Public Health, The University of Hong Kong), Mr Antonio KWONG, MH (COSH Chairman), Mr Andy LEUNG (Artist), Mr Henry LEE (Champion of the 5th “Quit to Win” Smoking Cessation Contest), Mr WONG Wai-chun (A young smoker with kids) and Mr Rodney TAM (Creative Director experienced in smoke-free advertisements) were invited to share their views on a tobacco endgame in Hong Kong.

"Towards a Tobacco Endgame in Hong Kong" Conference cum Reception for the 35th Anniversary of Tobacco Control in Hong Kong

Co-organized by COSH and Department of Health, “Towards a Tobacco Endgame in Hong Kong” Conference was held on 1 December 2017 and attended by over 200 participants from government departments, academia, medical and healthcare profession, smoking cessation service providers and NGOs supporting tobacco control. Twelve distinguished local and overseas speakers shared the pioneer and effective tobacco control measures and recommendations for working towards tobacco endgame. The "Reception for the 35th Anniversary of Tobacco Control in Hong Kong" was organized by COSH after the Conference to highlight the milestones in tobacco control and unite different sectors in the community to continue to strive for a smoke-free Hong Kong. Over a hundred guests and tobacco control working partners attended the event.


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Open Letter to Financial Secretary, Hong Kong SAR Government Raising Tobacco Tax by 100% 


COSH, together with 71 organizations, sent an open letter to the Financial Secretary to urge the Government to raise tobacco tax by 100% in FY2018-19 and formulate a long-term policy on tobacco tax to lower the smoking prevalence to single digit percentage and achieve tobacco endgame in 2027.



Premiere of “Mutation” API


A new API titled “Mutation” was launched in January 2018 aiming to alert the public about the harmfulness of all forms of smoking and vaping, urge smokers to quit smoking as soon as possible; and remind non-smokers not to try any forms of tobacco products nor e-cigarettes and should live a smoke-free healthy living. Another API titled“Stay away” was also launched earlier to encourage smokers to kick the habit for their family, friends and themselves.



Expansion of Statutory No Smoking Area and Ban on Electronic Cigarettes in Macau
The Macau government amended the "Tobacco Prevention and Control Regime" and implemented new tobacco control measures on 1 January 2018. The amendments include smoking ban at areas within 10 meters of public transport terminals and stops; regulation on electronic cigarettes; prohibition of display of tobacco products; and increased penalty for smoking offenses from MOP$600 to MOP$1,500, etc.


Tobacco Companies run Advertisements Revealing the Truth of Smoking Harms
To promote tobacco products and induce smoking, tobacco companies fraudulently conceal the health risks associated with smoking. The false information disseminated by the tobacco industry misleads the public about the risks of using tobacco products and nicotine, harms of secondhand smoke, ‘light’ and ‘low tar’ cigarettes are ‘safer’ than the regular cigarettes, etc.On 22 November 2017, the US Department of Justice had made the final judgement that tobacco companies have to put up corrective statements on televisions and newspapers to tell the true harms and risks of smoking.



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