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Elderly Smoking Cessation Promotion Project 2016 “Be Smoke-free for Good Fortune” Elderly Day
Hong Kong Council on Smoking and Health (COSH) is committed to promote smoke-free lifestyle and collaborate with the community to construct a smoke-free Hong Kong. With the aims to raise the awareness of elderly on tobacco hazards, clarify the misconceptions on smoking and encourage quitting, COSH has organized a smoke-free campaign for the elderly since 2012. The campaign has shared the smoke-free messages with more than 2,000 elderly each year.

This year, COSH organized the Elderly Smoking Cessation Promotion Project 2016 to disseminate the smoke-free message and smoking cessation advices through a serious of activities, including health talks, visits to elderly centres, smoke-free doll workshop, street promotions and radio promotions. A publicity event was held today to further spread the smoke-free messages. The smoke-free dolls produced by the elderly were displayed to reinforce smokers to quit. The officiating guests included Dr Jeff LEE (Head of Tobacco Control Office, Department of Health), Dr LAM Ching-choi, BBS, JP (Chairman, Elderly Commission), Mr Antonio KWONG, MH (Chairman of COSH) and Ms Yolanda NG, MH (Vice-chairman of COSH).

Mr Antonia KWONG, Chairman of COSH pointed out, “Health of elderly is of great concern of the public, but they generally underestimate the harms of smoking to themselves and their family members. Since there are also misconceptions about quitting among the older people, the importance of having a smoke-free life is being overlooked. This year, COSH invited more than 500 elderly to produce the smoke-free dolls which symbolize their wish for a smoke-free environment in order to encourage their family and friends to kick the habit.” COSH will also organize two street promotions on 5 and 6 November from 2pm to 4pm at Tsim Sha Tsui Park Lane Shopper's Boulevard and Causeway Bay Public pavement of East Point Road, respectively, to distribute the smoke-free dolls and to motivate smokers to quit. Elderly volunteers of the New Territories West Elder Academies Cluster, an affiliation of the Elderly Commission, will participate in the street promotions to spread the smoke-free messages.

“At any time, there are so much gains and nothing to lose if you quit smoking”, said Dr Jeff LEE, Head of Tobacco Control Office, Department of Health. He stressed that the Government is committed to enhance the smoking cessation services to help smokers quit smoking and to protect the health of the smokers and their family members. Dr LEE also advised quitters to call the Integrated Smoking Cessation Hotline (1833183) of the Department of Health for free and professional smoking cessation methods.

Attended with his wife, Mr CHEUNG Kam-hon, second runner-up of the 5th “Quit to Win” Contest shared his quit experience and showed his support to the smokers. Having picked up the cigarettes for over 40 years, Mr CHEUNG kicked the habit for better health and to protect his family from the harms of secondhand and third-hand smoke. Strong determination and support from the family were important to his successful quit attempt. Prof LAM Tai-hing, Chair Professor of Community Medicine & Sir Robert Kotewall Professor in Public Health, School of Public Health, The University of Hong Kong, cleared the misconception of quitting and gave tips about smoking cessation to the audience. Artists C AllStar and Phil LAM also joined the ceremony and further promoted the benefits of quitting through interactive games.

Photo Caption

The officiating guests pressed the handle, encouraging elderly to enjoy a fresh smoke-free life by quitting and supporting others to quit.

Mr CHEUNG Kam-hon second runner-up of the 5th “Quit to Win” Contest shared his experience of smoking cessation, while Mrs LEUNG pointed out the benefits to the family and Prof LAM Tai-hing clarified the misconceptions on quitting.

Artists further spread the smoke-free messages with the audience through interactive games.
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