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Press Release

"Quit to Win" Smoking Cessation Contest
2010.01.21
In 2009, Hong Kong Council on Smoking and Health (COSH), and The Department of Nursing Studies and the School of Public Health, The University of Hong Kong, co-organized a territory-wide "Quit to Win" Smoking Cessation publicity campaign which aimed at promoting the benefits of smoking cessation to individuals and the community. This campaign sought to mobilize smokers to quit smoking, and general public to support their family members and friends to quit smoking in order to enjoy a smoke-free healthy lifestyle. A total of 1,119 smokers enrolled into the contest within the period from 30 May to 15 July 2009.
 
With a high recruitment rate of 97% in a recruitment period of 2 months, the"Quit to Win" Smoking Cessation Contest has successfully captured the interest of the public and attracted a significant number of smokers to attend the smoking cessation programmes. All contestants were required to quit smoking for a period of 6 months since July 2009.
 
Prof Sophia CHAN, Professor and Head, Department of Nursing Studies, The University of Hong Kong said, "The self-reported quit rate at 2-month was 23.0% which is comparable to our local studies (smoking cessation clinic: 27%, quitline: 12% at 6-month)". Prof CHAN further elaborated,"Comparing with other overseas smoking cessation programmes, this group of smokers already had high motivation, and was ready to quit since they joined the contest. Overall, the Quit to Win Contest seems to have a positive short term effect on quit smoking. The project is still on-going with the 6 month follow up in progress. The long-term effect of the two additional smoking cessation approaches will be further analyzed." These 1,119 enrolled participants were assigned randomly for different smoking cessation services: 446 received only the self-help cessation manual, 338 received additional telephone cessation advice while 335 received additional SMS cessation messages, and they will be followed up at intervals of 2, 6 and 12 months.
 
"The 2-month follow-up progress report suggested that a majority of the participants expressed an increase in their determination to quit smoking after joining the Quit to Win Contest, which means the contest has a positive effect on the smoker's motivation to quit, and this is a very important factor in predicting successful quitting." Ms Lisa LAU, MH, JP, COSH Chairman said. "Smoke-free environment has already been the ideal lifestyle of our community. With the recently strengthened smoking cessation services provided by the Department of Health and Hospital Authority, smoking bans in public places should be further extended to protect the public from secondhand exposure. COSH will endeavor to encourage smoking cessation and promote healthy smoke-free lifestyles. Meanwhile, we suggest that tobacco tax increase should be set as a long-term tobacco control policy and the tax should be raised by 15% annually so as to encourage the smokers to quit smoking immediately, reduce adult smoking and protect our next generation!"
 
Participants who reported to have stopped smoking at 6 months were invited for a biochemical validation of their smoking status by measuring exhaled CO and salivary cotinine levels. Those who had passed the biochemical validation were invited to join the lucky draws. There are 3 lucky winners who are entitled to win supermarket coupon worth HKD$10,000 respectively. Meanwhile, those nominees who have nominated their friends or family members to join the"Quit to Win" Contest and quitted successfully were entitled to join a lucky draw. A total of 3 nominees received the special prize of supermarket coupon worth HKD$3,000 individually.
 
All these photos have been uploaded to our website at www.smokefree.hk for public viewing.
 
Prof Sophia CHAN, Professor in Nursing and Head, Department of Nursing Studies, The University of Hong Kong, reported that the overall self-report quit rate at 2-month follow-up among all the participants was 23.0 %.
Photo 1
Prof Sophia CHAN, Professor in Nursing and Head, Department of Nursing Studies, The University of Hong Kong, reported that the overall self-report quit rate at 2-month follow-up among all the participants was 23.0 %.
 
Ms Lisa LAU, MH, JP, COSH Chairman, urged the government to review the current tobacco tax policy and suggested the tobacco tax should be raised by 15% annually so as to encourage the smokers to quit smoking immediately.
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Ms Lisa LAU, MH, JP, COSH Chairman, urged the government to review the current tobacco tax policy and suggested the tobacco tax should be raised by 15% annually so as to encourage the smokers to quit smoking immediately.
Prof LAM Tai-hing, JP, Director of School of Public Health, The University of Hong Kong strongly recommended the HKSAR Government to conduct incremental increase on tobacco tax annually to protect the public health and avoid children suffering from tobacco-related harms and serious diseases.
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Prof LAM Tai-hing, JP, Director of School of Public Health, The University of Hong Kong strongly recommended the HKSAR Government to conduct incremental increase on tobacco tax annually to protect the public health and avoid children suffering from tobacco-related harms and serious diseases.
Three "Quit to Win" Contest participants quitted smoking successfully after 6 months and are champion of smoking cessation, each of them was awarded a prize of supermarket coupon worth HKD$10,000.
Photo 4
Three "Quit to Win" Contest participants quitted smoking successfully after 6 months and are champion of smoking cessation, each of them was awarded a prize of supermarket coupon worth HKD$10,000.
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