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Smoke-free Catering Force Programme Joint industry efforts to promote smoke-free catering culture
2018.02.02
To protect the health of catering employees and the public, Hong Kong Council on Smoking and Health (COSH) launched the “Smoke-free Catering Force” programme with full support of various industry associations and smoking cessation service partners. The programme introduced the “Premier Smoke-free Restaurant” recognition for the industry and the “Smoke-free Cooking Contest” for public engagement aiming to encourage smokers to kick the habit and boost the participation of the industry in promoting smoke-free messages to their stakeholders. Around 100 restaurants and catering companies joined the “Smoke-free Catering Force” as “Premier Smoke-free Restaurant”, including catering groups, fast food restaurants, Cha Chaan Teng, healthy food chain, karaoke, dessert shops, snack shops and pubs, benefiting over 12,700 employees.

An awards presentation ceremony was held today (2 February) to recognize the “Top Premier Smoke-free Restaurants” with outstanding smoke-free policies and winners of the cooking contest. The ceremony was officiated by Dr Jeff LEE (Head of Tobacco Control Office, Department of Health), Antonio KWONG (COSH Chairman) and Yolanda NG (COSH Vice-chairman).

Dr Jeff LEE, Head of Tobacco Control Office, Department of Health claimed that workplace is one of the places where employees spend the most of their time every day. Catering companies and restaurants could protect employees’ health, enhance efficiency, establish a positive image and fulfill corporate social responsibility through implementing smoke-free policies and providing smoking cessation support.

“The catering industry has over 240,000 labour force. It was found that nearly half of kitchen staff and 28.1% of floor staff in Chinese restaurants smoked regularly. COSH launched this tailored “Smoke-free Catering Force” programme to assist companies of the industry in promoting smoke-free culture and supporting their staff to quit smoking, Besides, the general public are encouraged to motivate their family and friends to kick the smoking habit by sharing healthy dishes.” said Antonio KWONG, COSH Chairman.

A wide variety of smoke-free measures have been adopted by the “Premier Smoke-free Restaurants”. Six of them were recognized as “Top Premier Smoke-free Restaurants” with outstanding measures which effectively united the employees, industry and the general public to create a supportive atmosphere for smoke-free catering culture, e.g. smoke-free charter for staff who are committed to quitting smoking, smoking cessation reward scheme, smoking cessation service referral, free fruits on “healthy smoke-free day”, sharing of quit tips by successful quitters and smoke-free promotion through social media. Also, a café was recognized as “Top Premier Smoke-free Outdoor Restaurant” for its voluntary smoking ban at outdoor seating areas to protect the customers and staff from the hazards of secondhand and third-hand smoke.

The “Smoke-free Cooking Contest” was organized to invite the mass public to share menus with the cost of a pack of cigarettes (around HK$60) which could spread smoke-free messages and support smokers to kick the habit. Over 60 creative and healthy menus were received and more than 1,400 citizens voted for their favourite menus through social media. Artist Kitty YUEN and the Champion of the cooking contest demonstrated the winning dish and invited the mass public to taste to promote the importance of living a smoke-free lifestyle.

Prof LAM Tai-hing (Chair Professor of Community Medicine cum Sir Robert Kotewall Professor in Public Health, School of Public Health, The University of Hong Kong) shared the benefits and tips on kicking the smoking habit. Singers Phil LAM, Joey WONG and Mischa IP encouraged the general public to motivate their family and friends to quit smoking through games while Smoke-free Ambassadors Christian YANG and LO Pui-wah promoted the smoking hazards to urge the chefs to get rid of cigarettes and adopt a smoke-free lifestyle.

For more information about the “Smoke-free Catering Force” programme, please visit www.smokefree.hk/catering.

Photo captions
Officiating guests united the power of the catering industry, employees and customers to build a “Smoke-free Catering Force”.
Officiating guests united the power of the catering industry, employees and customers to build a “Smoke-free Catering Force”.

Around 100 catering companies and restaurants joined as “Premier Smoke-free Restaurant” and are committed to promoting smoke-free culture.
Around 100 catering companies and restaurants joined as “Premier Smoke-free Restaurant” and are committed to promoting smoke-free culture.

Prof LAM Tai-hing, Smoke-free Ambassadors Christian YANG and LO Pui-wah shared the benefits and tips on kicking the smoking habit.
Prof LAM Tai-hing, Smoke-free Ambassadors Christian YANG and LO Pui-wah shared the benefits and tips on kicking the smoking habit.
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