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Press Release

2007 World No Tobacco Day "Smoke Free Environments - Create & Enjoy!" Campaign
To mark this year's World No Tobacco Day (WNTD) designated by the World Health Organization (WHO), the Hong Kong Council on Smoking and Health (COSH) has collaborated with Television Broadcasts Limited (TVB) and the Radio Television Hong Kong (RTHK) to launch today a territory-wide campaign, "Smoke Free Environments - Create & Enjoy!", aims at promoting the importance and benefits of the smoke-free living environment to the general public.
WHO has designated May 31 of each year as WNTD, and the theme this year is "Smoke Free Environments - Create & Enjoy!", emphasizing 100% smoke-free environment as the only effective measure to protect the public from the adverse effect of second-hand tobacco smoke.In recent years, many nations and cities in the world have implemented laws that require almost all indoor workplaces and public places to be 100% smoke-free, resulted in a remarkable improvement on public health and living environment of their people.Following this global smoke-free trend, Hong Kong has also implemented new tobacco control laws from 1 January 2007, so our public can now enjoy smoke-free environment in more public areas, allowing the establishment of a smoke-free culture in Hong Kong.

The major activity of the "Smoke Free Environments - Create & Enjoy!" Campaign is to encourage all primary school students in Hong Kong and their families to share their enjoyable experience in any smoke-free environment by submitting a photo depicting joyous images with explanatory notes. The organization of this campaign is supported by the Education and Manpower Bureau and the Life Education Activity Programme (LEAP).

The launching ceremony of the Campaign was held at the World Trade Centre in Causeway Bay today, and officiated by Dr. York CHOW, SBS, JP (Secretary for Health, Welfare and Food Bureau), Dr. P.Y. LAM, JP (Director of Health), Dr. Homer TSO, BBS JP (COSH Chairman), Prof. Lam Tai-hing, JP (COSH Vice-chairman) and Ms. Lisa LAU, MH, JP (Chairperson of COSH Education & Publicity Committee).The premiere of an episode of the promotional segments for "2007 World No Tobacco Day: Smoke Free Environments - Create and Enjoy! Campaign" marked the commencement of the launching ceremony.

Officiating guests were accompanied by children to bring drawings depicting various smoke-free public places together to form a message: "Enjoy a Smoke-free Hong Kong".Celebrities including Aimee CHAN, Koni LUI, Natalie TONG, SUNG Chih Ling, Vivien YEO, Charles SZETO, appealed to the public for supporting and enjoying a smoke-free lifestyle.

Dr. York CHOW, Secretary for Health, Welfare and Food Bureau said that this year's WNTD has a special meaning to Hong Kong. Since the new indoor no-smoking laws came into effect on 1 January 2007, the compliance is in general well. Most members of the public are able to abide by the law, while mutual respect between smokers and non-smokers has been demonstrated.

Dr. Homer TSO, Chairman of COSH said, "Public awareness towards the adverse effect of second-hand smoke and the demand for a smoke-free living environment has been on an increasing trend, with going smoke-free becomes the new norm in our society.With the implementation of the new smoke-free laws since January 2007, you should now feel the joy and better living environment with most places became free of tobacco smoke.The support of the public is most needed to build a smoke-free Hong Kong.We wish that all smokers can quit smoking as soon as possible.For non-smokers, please help your family members or friends to quit."

The launching ceremony of "Smoke Free Environments - Create & Enjoy!" Campaign will be followed by a series of programmes targeting to all primary school students, including "Let's Enjoy Smoke Free Environments - Photo Collection Campaign"etc. Students will be encouraged to take part in building a smoke-free Hong Kong by showing their ideal smoke-free living environment.
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