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Department of Health Received 2019 World No Tobacco Day Award
The Department of Health (DH) of Hong Kong is awarded the 2019 World No Tobacco Day Award. Dr Constance CHAN, Director of Health represented the department to receive the award on 30 May 2019.

The World No Tobacco Day Award is set up by the WHO to recognize individuals or organizations for their effort and accomplishments in tobacco control. The DH is one of the five awardees in the West Pacific Region this year.

In the award presentation ceremony in Hong Kong, Dr Constance CHAN received the award from Prof Judith MACKAY, WHO Senior Policy Advisor. Prof Sophia CHAN, Secretary for Food and Health, experts of public health and tobacco control practitioners also attended the ceremony.

Dr Chan mentioned in the award presentation ceremony that the DH has consistently placed a high priority to tobacco control and will continuously collaborate with working partners to combat the harm of tobacco for the health of future generation. Dr Chan particularly expressed her gratitude to the strong support from various tobacco control partners, including academia, the medical and healthcare professions, the education sector, the non-government organizations and many government departments over three decades. Along with a series effective tobacco control measures, the smoking prevalence in Hong Kong has been decreasing from 23% in the 1980s to 10% in 2017.

Dr Chan added that the new smoking products threatened to undermine decades of tobacco control efforts. Therefore, the Hong Kong government has proposed the Smoking (Public Health) (Amendment) Bill 2019 for the total ban of alternative smoking products to protect the future generations from the harm of tobacco. The Hong Kong government has also set the goal of 30% relative reduction in smoking prevalence by 2025.

It is encouraging to know the WHO’s recognition on the effort on tobacco control of DH and Hong Kong. COSH hoped that the Hong Kong government would consistently strengthen the tobacco control policy and allocate more resources to tobacco control, particularly in the education and publicity on new smoking products. We envision to reduce the smoking prevalence to 5% and achieve a smoke-free Hong Kong with the concerted effort from all community sectors.

Source: World Health Organization and Hong Kong SAR Government
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