Cigarette smoking in Hong Kong is down, according to a recent government survey.
News.Gov.HK reports that Hong Kong residents aged 15 and above, the percentage of daily cigarette smokers in 2015 was 10.5%, a drop of 0.2% from 2012. Among teenagers 15 to 19 years old, daily cigarette smokers dropped to 1.1% from 2 % in 2012.
A school-based survey conducted from autumn of 2014 to spring the next year stated that 2.7% of secondary students, as well as 0.2% of Primary Four to Six students smoked. In October 2012 to April 2013, the figures were 0.6% and 0.1% higher.
Professor Sophia Chan, Under Secretary for Food & Health has expressed satisfaction with regards to the drop in smokers, which in the early 1980s accounted for 23.3% in the population. This has indicated the effectiveness of the Government’s Tobacco control programmes.
“Although our daily cigarette smoking prevalence continues to be one of the lowest around the world, we cannot afford complacency, especially in the face of the fact that the smoking prevalence of certain groups did not see any significant decrease,” says Chan.
However, she mentioned a concern about the rising use of electronic cigarettes, particularly among the youth, with 2.6% of Primary 4 to 6 students and 9% of secondary students having tried some form of e-cigarette. 1.3% of secondary students are regular users.
The Government will increase efforts in educating the public on the dangers of smoking, as well as providing cessation services to help smokers kick the habit, while considering measures against the import, manufacture, sale, distribution and advertising of e-cigarettes.
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