Public Forum “Making Hong Kong a Smoke-free City” Collects public views on tobacco control policies
2017.12.152017 marks the 35th anniversary of tobacco control, as well as the 10th anniversary of indoor smoking ban in Hong Kong. Since the enactment of the Smoking (Public Health) Ordinance (Cap 371) in 1982, smoking prevalence in Hong Kong has gradually dropped from 23.3% to 10.5% in 2015, which is one of the lowest in the world.
To evaluate the effectiveness of tobacco control policies in Hong Kong and understand the views of the public, Hong Kong Council on Smoking and Health (COSH) collaborated with Radio 1 of Radio Television Hong Kong to organize a public forum “Making Hong Kong a Smoke-free City”. Guests including Prof LAM Tai-hing, BBS, JP (Chair Professor of Community Medicine cum Sir Robert Kotewall Professor in Public Health, School of Public Health, The University of Hong Kong), Mr Antonio KWONG, MH (COSH Chairman), Mr Andy LEUNG (Artist), Mr Henry LEE (Champion of the 5th “Quit to Win” Smoking Cessation Contest), Mr WONG Wai-chun (A young smoker with kids) and Mr Rodney TAM (Creative Director experienced in smoke-free advertisements) were invited to share their views on a tobacco endgame in Hong Kong.
A series of man-on-the-street interviews were conducted earlier asking for the views of the public on extending the smoke-free areas and ways to leap towards a smoke-free Hong Kong. The video was premiered at the forum. Most of the interviewees supported to extend the smoke-free areas, including pedestrian walkways and outdoor places, as well as set up designated smoking areas. They also suggested strengthening the smoke-free education to deter the youngsters and children from picking up the first cigarette. Besides, COSH launched an online polling on social media from 1 December to 13 December 2017 to collect views on the most preferred tobacco control policy. The polling results coincided with the interviews. Among some 560 votes, around 78% would like to set up designated smoking areas and ban smoking while walking on the streets, followed by raising tobacco tax (14%).
Mr Antonio KWONG (COSH Chairman) remarked, “COSH has been collecting public opinions on tobacco control measures through different channels. We urge the Government to adopt long-term policies with defined schedules, in order to lower the smoking prevalence in Hong Kong to a single-digit percentage as soon as possible and drop to 5% or below in 2027 to achieve the Tobacco Endgame goal.”
The highlights of the forum will be broadcasted on Radio 1 and TV 31 of RTHK during the programme “Health Pedia” on 4 January 2018 (Thur) at 1pm to 2pm.
Guests and citizens attended the Public Forum “Making Hong Kong a Smoke-free City” to share their views on a tobacco endgame in Hong Kong and make a smoke-free wish.