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

This year, COSH organizes the Elderly Smoking Cessation Promotion Project 2017-18. Smoke-free messages and advice of smoking cessation are conveyed to the elderly through different channels, including health talks, visits to elderly centres, TV promotions, sharing of successful quit stories, etc. A publicity event was held today to launch the premiere of the promotion clips and further spread the smoke-free messages. The officiating guests included Dr CHUI Tak-yi, JP (Under Secretary for Food and Health), Dr Jeff LEE (Head of Tobacco Control Office, Department of Health), Dr LAM Ching-choi, BBS, JP (Chairman, Elderly Commission), Mr Antonio KWONG, MH (COSH Chairman) and Ms Yolanda NG, MH (COSH Vice-chairman).

Mr Antonia KWONG, Chairman of COSH remarked, “Smokers have different reasons for quitting. They may quit for better health, for the health of family or next generation, for money-saving, for building a smoke-free life, for a better image, etc. Regardless of the reasons behind, ‘It’s never too late, act now and quit smoking!’.” COSH encourages smokers of all ages to stop making up excuses but take the first step to quit for a healthy lifestyle as soon as possible.

To promote the smoke-free messages to a wider scope of elderly, COSH collaborated with Elderly Health Service of Department of Health to issue newsletters about smoking hazards and quit methods. In addition, COSH recruited over 40 elderly volunteers from New Territories West Elder Academies Cluster, an organization funded by the Elderly Commission, and trained them up as “Smoke-free Elderly Ambassadors”. The Ambassadors have been promoting smoking cessation to smokers and disseminating the smoke-free messages through elderly centre visits and other community activities since June this year.

“Besides determination and support from family and friends, appropriate smoking cessations method and support from professionals are equally important in a successful quit attempt”, said Dr CHUI Tak-yi, Under Secretary for Food and Health. Therefore, the Department of Health established the Integrated Smoking Cessation Hotline (1833183) to provide one-stop free and professional smoking cessation services for smokers, including telephone counselling, nicotine replacement therapy treatment, acupuncture, medication, etc. Smokers can call the hotline and receive smoking cessation advice and assistance, which can effectively increase the success rate of quitting.

Two Smoke-free Elderly Ambassadors, Ms River LEUNG and Ms Teresa SUN, shared their experience in promoting smoking cessation with the audience at the ceremony. Artists LAW Lan and Bella LAM further informed the public of the smoking hazards and promoted the benefits of quitting through games. 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, also took part in the mini drama to clear the misconceptions of quitting in an interesting way.

Photo Captions

The officiating guests inserted the smoke-free logos, encouraging elderly to quit smoking and support others to quit.
The officiating guests inserted the smoke-free logos, encouraging elderly to quit smoking and support others to quit.

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