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First WHO Collaborating Centre for Smoking Cessation officially launched in Hong Kong
The Launch Ceremony for the World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Centre for Smoking Cessation and Treatment of Tobacco Dependence (Centre) in Hong Kong was held yesterday (9 April 2012). The WHO Collaborating Centre in Hong Kong is the first of its kind in the theme of smoking cessation which was officiated by the Director of Health, Dr P Y LAM, and the Regional Director of the Western Pacific of WHO, Dr SHIN Young-soo.

The Department of Health (DH) was designated by the WHO to set up the Centre in Hong Kong which aims to provide evidence-based smoking cessation training for healthcare personnel; develop, test and evaluate models of smoking cessation; support WHO's initiatives on smoking cessation; and assist WHO in the dissemination of information on smoking cessation.

Dr SHIN Young-soo, Regional Director of the Western Pacific of WHO, Dr Shin Young-soo expressed that the Centre could serve as a regional hub to support smoking cessation training in particular helping the Western Pacific Region and Mainland China. He pointed out that Hong Kong has one of the lowest smoking prevalence in the region. Since 1982, Hong Kong has reduced the smoking prevalence from 23% to 11.1% as a result of incremental and multi-pronged strategies including legislation, taxation, education and publicity, banning of tobacco advertisement, law enforcement and offer of smoking cessation services.

Dr PY LAM, Director of Health shared that the Department of Health had trained up more than 100 healthcare personnel from Hong Kong, Macau and Mainland China in smoking cessation services over the past two years. Their training programme also opened to tobacco control personnel from the Philippines, Malaysia and Vietnam. "The Government has introduced additional resources on smoking cessation through enhancement of quitline services, capacity building of community partners and empowerment of healthcare workers," Dr Lam said.

The Centre, which is scheduled to commence operation later this year, is located at 10/F, Wu Chung House, 213 Queen's Road East, Wan Chai, Hong Kong.

Source : Tobacco Control Office, Department of Health
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