Smoke-free Youth Ambassadors promote smoke-free culture by organizing more than a hundred innovative activities
2016.03.02Hong Kong Council on Smoking and Health (COSH) has been sparing no effort to educate children and youth to understand the smoking hazards and prevent them from taking up the first cigarette. COSH is also committed to nurturing teenagers to become future leaders to advance tobacco control in Hong Kong. The Smoke-free Youth Ambassador Leadership Training Programme has been organized annually since 2012 to equip participants with knowledge on tobacco control and smoking hazards and different skills through training camp and organization of various activities to promote smoke-free culture.
Over 300 youngsters, aged 14 to 18, from more than 40 secondary schools, youth centres and uniform groups enrolled for the 2015-16 programme. They joined a 2-day-1-night leadership training camp last summer and applied their knowledge to initiate more than 150 innovative smoke-free activities reaching a record high of more than 50,000 citizens between September and December 2015. Activities included cigarette butts clean-up, short film production, drama performance, design competition, carnival in school and community, street promotion, visit to elderly centre, graffiti and promotion through social media platform.
An award presentation ceremony was held today (2 March 2016) to commend the outstanding Smoke-free Youth Ambassadors for their efforts. Honorable guests included Mr Eddie NG, SBS, JP, Secretary for Education, Dr Sarah CHOI, JP, Assistant Director of Health (Special Health Services) and Mr Antonio KWONG, MH, COSH Chairman.
“COSH is pleased to see that many Ambassadors engaged their community through various smoke-free activities. They also paid attention to the latest topics on tobacco control such as e-cigarette as reflected in their programmes. It is hoped that the Ambassadors can continue to encourage their friends and family to kick the smoking habit and support the tobacco control work to strive for a smoke-free Hong Kong.” Mr Antonio KWONG, COSH Chairman said.
Mr Eddie NG, Secretary for Education pointed out that young people are the future of our community. He thanked COSH for their enormous efforts in preventing youth smoking. Dr Sarah CHOI, Assistant Director of Health (Special Health Services) remarked, “The Department of Health accords high priority to tobacco control. We support COSH's objective of this programme: developing a smoke-free healthy lifestyle among the youth as well as encouraging smokers to quit."
The awards went to Lingnan Dr Chung Wing Kwong Memorial Secondary School (champion), St Catherine’s School For Girls (Kwun Tong) (Team 2) (1st runner-up) and S K H Kei Hau Secondary School (2nd runner-up).
The champion team shared their tips and experience in organizing activities under the theme of “Smoke-free, Love and Continuity”. They not only took the lead to promote smoke-free culture, but also encouraged smokers to quit smoking with love and strived to sustain the Smoke-free Ambassador’s spirit. The team launched a series of innovative activities which reached over 5,400 citizens, including smoke-free pledge in school, slogan competition, health talk and game booth. They also organized a wide variety of activities to engage the community like cigarette butts clean-up, promotion in Kwai Chung Container Terminals, graffiti, smoke-free promotion targeting pet lovers, short film production and promotion through social media platform. Activities were also tailor-made for specific groups, eg distribution of cards to pet owners on street to remind them on the hazards of third-hand smoke to animals. The team grasped every opportunity to integrate the smoke-free concept into the community and daily life, such as holding information or game booth on school open day and social enterprise flea market.
Over the past four years, around 1,400 youth ambassadors have been nurtured to take the leading role in establishing a smoke-free environment. COSH will organize the Smoke-free Youth Ambassador Leadership Training Programme 2016-17 and invite local secondary schools, youth centres and uniform groups to join hands in encouraging a smoke-free living in the community. Details of the programme can be found at www.smokefree.hk and www.facebook.com/SmokefreeYouthAmbassador.
Honorable guests commended the youth ambassadors for organizing innovative programmes
in the community to promote a smoke‐free living.
The Champion team, Lingnan Dr Chung Wing Kwong Memorial Secondary School, shared their
experience in organizing activities under the theme of “Smoke‐free, Love and Continuity”.