Support “Smoke-free Taxi” Campaign Enjoy a smoke-free journey
2012.12.12Hong Kong Council on Smoking and Health (COSH) has been promoting a smoke-free lifestyle and working with different sectors of the society to strive for a smoke-free Hong Kong. This year, COSH launches a brand new campaign, “Smoke-free Taxi” with the full support from Road Co-op/ Commercial Radio. The campaign encourages taxi drivers and passengers to create a smoke-free journey by not to smoke in taxi at anytime. The kick-off ceremony is held today.
Officiating guests include Prof CHAN Siu-chee, Sophia, Under Secretary for Food & Health, Dr Constance CHAN Hon-yee, JP, Director of Health, Ms Carolina Yip, JP, Deputy Commissioner/ Transport Services and Management and Ms Lisa LAU Man-man, MH, JP, Chairman of COSH. Representatives from taxi associations also joined the ceremony to show their support.
COSH Chairman, Ms Lisa Lau would like to remind the public that smoking is prohibited in taxi at anytime through the campaign. According to Smoking (Public Health) Ordinance (Cap.371), “No person shall smoke or carry a lighted cigarette, cigar or pipe in a public transport carrier.” Fixed penalty of HK$1,500 will be applied for offender.
Taxi plays one of the key roles in Hong Kong public transport. There are now over 18,000 taxis in Hong Kong with daily patronage of 1 million on average. Both the drivers and passengers can enjoy a convenient, comfortable and efficient journey by supporting the Smoke-free Taxi Campaign.
The campaign also aims to encourage smoking taxi drivers to kick the habit. Smoking in taxi is hazardous to drivers and passengers. Thirdhand smoke, the chemical residual of tobacco smoke contamination that clings to clothing, seat belt, sofa in taxi, hair and skin, persists in the taxi for a long period of time which has harmful effects on health. The toxic residues cannot be removed even if the windows are opened. Thirdhand smoke not only brings stinky smell to the taxi, but also affects the business and service quality. Even the road safety will be endangered if taxi driver is suffered from cardiac diseases or eye diseases caused by smoking.
A series of promotion will be launched to raise the public awareness. With the support from taxi associations, many drivers have pledged for a “Smoke-free Taxi”. Participating drivers will show the “Smoke-free Taxi” license sticker and backseat sticker in their taxis for identification and promotion. Smoking drivers who decide to kick the habit will be referred to the Smoking Cessation Services of Tobacco Control Office. Public is also encouraged to visit “Smoke-free taxi” website through www.881903.com or the QR Code on backseat sticker to join the online games and win fabulous prizes.
During the ceremony, two former smokers also shared their experiences and tips on cessation. Both of them claimed that determination is critical to success. They also demonstrated how to deal with passenger and driver who smoke in taxi, together with artists Ms Kandy Wong and Mr Alfred Hui through role play and delivered smoke-free message.
Officiating guests of Smoke-free Taxi Campaign Kick-off Ceremony include : (from left) artist Ms Kandy Wong, Ms Lisa LAU Man-man, MH, JP, Chairman of COSH, Dr Constance CHAN Hon-yee, JP, Director of Health, Prof CHAN Siu-chee, Sophia, Under Secretary for Food & Health, Ms Carolina Yip, JP, Deputy Commissioner/ Transport Services and Management, Ms Rita Chan, General Manager of Commercial Radio and artist Mr Alfred Hui.
Representatives from taxi associations also joined the Smoke-free Taxi Kick-off ceremony to show their support.
Participating drivers will show the “Smoke-free Taxi” stickers in the taxi for identification and promotion.