24th May 2022 – (Hong Kong) In support of World No Tobacco Day, the Department of Health (DH) has launched the Quit in June campaign to promote tobacco-free life and to remind members of the public of the increased risk of developing severe illness from COVID-19 associated with smoking.
The World Health Organization has marked 31st May as World No Tobacco Day annually to highlight the health risks associated with tobacco use and advocate effective tobacco control policy to reduce tobacco consumption. The theme for this year’s World No Tobacco Day is “Tobacco: Threat to our environment”. Tobacco pollutes the planet and damages the health of all people. Its cultivation, production, distribution and consumption also add unnecessary pressure to our planet’s scarce resources and fragile ecosystems.
Attending the kick-off ceremony of the smoke-free publicity programme for World No Tobacco Day organised by the Hong Kong Council on Smoking and Health today (24th May), the Director of Health, Dr Ronald Lam, called on smokers to quit smoking in order to reduce their risk of tobacco-related diseases and death.
Dr Lam pointed out that it is beneficial for smokers of all ages to quit smoking as it brings immediate and long-term health benefits. Smokers who stay tobacco-free for four weeks would be five times more likely to quit for good.
The DH has all along subvented non-governmental organisations to provide a wide range of free smoking cessation services and support. Smokers can make use of the mail-to-quit service from these service providers to have cessation medications delivered to them by post. To further assist smokers to quit smoking, the DH has partnered with non-governmental organisations (Tung Wah Group of Hospitals Integrated Centre on Smoking Cessation and United Christian Nethersole Community Health Service) to provide a one-week trial pack of smoking cessation drugs for free. Smoking cessation drugs effectively alleviate withdrawal symptoms and can encourage quit attempts. Smokers can visit smoking cessation clinics of the above non-governmental organisations in person and will be provided with a one-week trial pack of nicotine replacement therapy for free on-site after a simple assessment. They can also make an appointment online (www.livetobaccofree.hk/en/free-quit-tools/free-cessation-services.html) or call 1833 183 to receive the trial pack.
A course of nicotine replacement therapy generally lasts about eight to 12 weeks. If smokers decide to quit smoking after using the trial pack, they can enrol at the smoking cessation service provided at the smoking cessation clinics.
Smokers can call 1833 183 or visit the designated website www.livetobaccofree.hk for more information on quitting and the available supporting tools and services. They can also download the “Quit Smoking App” to keep track of their progress in quitting and get tips to deal with cravings and stay tobacco-free.