The 6th “Quit to Win” Contest cum Smoke-free Community Campaign Prize Presentation Ceremony
2016.03.18Hong Kong Council on Smoking and Health (COSH) has been organizing the “Quit to Win” Smoke-free Community Campaign since 2009 to motivate smokers to kick the habit. Over 1,000 smokers were recruited each year. With the continuous support of the 18 District Councils and community organizations, the territory-wide 6th “Quit to Win” Contest cum Smoke-free Community Campaign has been successfully completed this year. Through a series of district-based promotional activities, smoke-free messages were disseminated to every corner of the society. More than 1,300 smokers were recruited to join the contest and smoke-free messages were promoted to some 40,000 members of public.
COSH held a prize presentation ceremony today (18 March) to award the winners of the 6th “Quit to Win” Contest and commended the District Councils and district organizations for their tremendous support in the 6th “Quit to Win” Smoke-free Community Campaign.
Honorable guests included: Dr Sarah CHOI, JP, (Assistant Director of Health (Special Health Services)), Prof LAM Tai-hing, BBS, JP (Chair Professor of Community Medicine & Sir Robert Kotewall Professor in Public Health, School of Public Health, The University of Hong Kong), Mr Antonio KWONG, MH (COSH Chairman), Ms Yolanda NG, MH (COSH Vice-chairman) and Ms Vienna LAI (COSH Executive Director).
Mr Antonio KWONG, COSH Chairman said, “Besides encouraging smokers to quit, the “Quit to Win” Smoke-free Community Campaign also features the community involvement in spreading the smoke-free messages. COSH holds recruitment sessions across 18 districts and collaborates with district partners to organize a series of district-based smoke-free promotion activities. This year, several trade associations and companies also offered assistance to promote the campaign. In addition, “Quit to Win” includes a research study that seeks to investigate quitters’ needs and provide the appropriate assistance.”
Dr Sarah CHOI, Assistant Director of Health (Special Health Services) remarked that “Smokers’ will to quit smoking, appropriate smoking cessation assistance as well as family and friends’ support are crucial for a successful quit attempt. To encourage more smokers to kick the habit and to cater their needs, Department of Health operates an Integrated Smoking Cessation Hotline (1833 183) which offers a one-stop service for smokers to get access to various free and professional smoking cessation services in Hong Kong.”
The champion of the 6th “Quit to Win”, Mr WONG Wai-kin, had smoked for more than 10 years. He was tempted and influenced by his colleagues to pick up the cigarettes. He thought that smoking could facilitate communications between them. However, he soon noticed that he was wrong. Knowing that there was the 6th “Quit to Win” Contest and encouraged by his girlfriend, he joined the Contest and determined to quit smoking. He discovered new and healthy hobbies after quitting and have better health, especially his lung function is improved significantly. To show his strong will to kick the habit, he wore the “Quit to Win” T-shirt to join the marathon and shared his successful quit stories with his friends to inspire them to quit.
The first runner-up Mr CHAI Ming-chun spent almost 18 years as a smoker. He started smoking out of curiosity and temptation from his friends. Understanding that quitting early can avoid the additional health risks caused by smoking, he decided to quit smoking for his family and his own health. He tried to quit for a few times but relapsed due to the temptations, particularly from his colleagues. After he joined the “Quit to Win” Contest, he resisted the temptation with strong will and support from his family. The second runner-up Mr LEE Tak-leung had smoked for more than 30 years and smoked one pack of cigarette every day. He quitted smoking for the sake of his daughter’s health and money-saving. Mr LEE knew that there were smoking cessation services in Hong Kong to help smokers kick the habit but he had never tried. Until he joined the 6th “Quit to Win” Contest and was referred to a smoking cessation service provider, he received counselling and advice from the service provider and it helped him successfully quit smoking.
At the ceremony, Prof Judith MACKAY, SBS, JP, Senior Policy Advisor to the World Health Organization, Senior Advisor to Vital Strategies of Bloomberg Philanthropies (former World Lung Foundation) and Director of the Asian Consultancy on Tobacco Control introduce her publication, Tobacco Atlas (fifth edition, Chinese) and shared her tobacco control experience. During the event, artists Mr Pal SINN and Ms Jessica HSUAN also spread the smoke-free messages through interesting games, which disseminated the information of smoking cessation services in Hong Kong and encouraged smokers to quit for better health.
Three winners (from left) Mr LEE Tak-leung (2nd runner-up), Mr CHAI Ming-chun (1st runner-up) and Mr WONG Wai-kin (Champion) shared their inspiring stories to encourage smokers to quit.
Successful quitters of the “Quit to Win” Contests showed their certificates and happiness of quitting.
COSH thanked the support of the 18 District Councils and district organizations to the 6th “Quit to Win” Smoke-free Community Campaign.