Elderly Smoking Cessation Promotion Project 2014-15 Launch Ceremony Promote smoke-free lifestyle and smoking cessation with the elderly
2014.10.24Hong Kong Council on Smoking and Health (COSH) is committed to promote smoke-free lifestyle and partner with the community to construct a smoke-free Hong Kong. In order to raise the awareness of elderly on tobacco hazards, clarify the misconceptions on smoking and encourage quitting, COSH has organized smoke-free campaign for the elderly since 2012. The campaign has shared smoke-free messages with nearly 2,000 elderly every year.
This year, to further promote the smoke-free concepts among the elderly, COSH co-organizes the Elderly Smoking Cessation Promotion Project 2014-15 with Radio 5 of Radio Television Hong Kong (RTHK) and reinforces the cooperation with the community. District elderly centres and elder volunteers are invited to participate in the project. The volunteers are trained as“Senior Smoke-free Ambassador”and will join hands with COSH in the forthcoming smoke-free promotion activities to promote smoke-free health lifestyle in their communities and motivate more elder smokers to quit smoking.
The officiating guests of the Launch Ceremony included Prof Sophia CHAN, JP (Under Secretary for Food and Health), Dr Christine WONG (Head, Tobacco Control Office, Department of Health), Mr Antonio KWONG, MH (COSH Chairman), Mr David HO (Head of Radio 5 of RTHK) and Ms Vienna LAI (COSH Executive Director).
The Under Secretary for Food and Health, Prof Sophia CHAN said that the Government has set up the Integrated Smoking Cessation Hotline (1833183) to provide a wide-spectrum of smoking cessation services to the public through the Department of Health, Hospital Authority, various non-governmental organizations and charities. Meanwhile, it is hoped to create a positive atmosphere and supportive attitude towards smoking cessation. Hence the Government has been organizing and supporting different smoke-free promotion campaigns. COSH hoped that the Elderly Smoking Cessation Promotion Project would arouse public concern on the issues related to elderly smoking, motivate more elder smokers to quit and encourage more elder people to apply a smoke-free health concept and support tobacco control.
According to the latest Thematic Household Survey Report No.53 published in 2012, among the 645,000 daily cigarette smokers in Hong Kong, more than 40% were aged 50 or above. The research study released by School of Public Health and Department of Community Medicine of The University of Hong Kong in 2008 showed that the elderly who had quitted smoking suffer a lower risk of death from lung cancer and cardiovascular diseases than the smoking elderly. On the other hand, other research had showed that quitting could avoid almost all health risks of smoking.
Mr Antonio KWONG, COSH Chairman, reiterated the advantages of smoking cessation on health and hoped that all people could support the others to quit tobacco use,“If there is strong will and suitable counseling, smokers can get rid of the habit no matter how long and how many they have smoked. The quitting process may not be easy. As their family members and friends, we should show our care and support to the quitters. We should keep on encouraging them to quit for a smoke-free and healthy life”.
With the support of family members and assistance of the Integrated Smoking Cessation Hotline, Mr CHAN Wai-hung and Mr LEUNG Kau who joined the project’s “Smoking Cessation Pledge Ceremony” in 2013, quitted smoking successfully. They had become the “Smoke-free Ambassador” to share the advantages of smoking cessation and encourage their smoking friends to quit smoking.
Artists had participated in the event to show support to the project and the “Senior Smoke-free Ambassador”. Through games and performances, smoke-free messages were further promoted.
The officiating guests showed their love and care to smokers and hoped that smoke-free messages could be spread out in the community.
Successful quitters Mr CHAN Wai-hung and Mr LEUNG Kau, who had joined the “Smoking Cessation Pledge Ceremony” in 2013, became the smoke-free ambassadors and shared their quitting experience.
Artists and audiences joined together in games to share the advantages of quit smoking.