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Hong Kong - The Murder File: Hunting Tobacco (07 Jul 2004)


According to the World Health Organisation and Hong Kong Council on Smoking and Health, one burns off three minutes in his life when he smokes. Prolonged smoking can cause a loss in five to eight years of life expectancy.Smoking causes 90% of lung cancer morbidity, 75% of emphysema morbidity and 25% of coronary heart disease morbidity.Meanwhile, 60% to 80% impotent patients are smokers. Smoking is also a factor for illnesses such as stroke, asthma, larynx cancer, oral cavity cancer and bronchitis. Annually, tobacco-related diseases cause 6,400 lives in Hong Kong.These are not merely alarmist talks.Every one knows that smoking is hazardous to health. Both active and passive smoking are harmful to the smokers and people around them. A burning cigarette emits some 4,000 toxic chemicals, of which more than 40 are carcinogenic. Among other substance, nicotine, tar and carbon oxide pose the biggest health threat and are known as big three killers of cigarette.This programme features interviews with specialists in cardiology, oncology, respiratory surgery and urology to examine the health impact of smoking. Patients of illnesses caused by prolonged smoking share their experience as a further proof of the serious consequences. Indeed, smoking has put a great burden on medical expenses. Annually, public hospitals spend nearly $900 million on treatments related to smoking-attributable illnesses. For smokers, quitting smoking is the most effective precaution against illnesses and premature death. Many smokers have tried stopping their addiction but failed. Only they can tell how difficult it is to become free of tobacco. Nicotine contained in cigarette can result in dependence. When one stops smoking, one has to cope with psychological unrest caused by the non-supply of nicotine. To help the smokers, different treatments can be used, namely, medicines, nicotine patch, acupuncture, the ‘ instant quit ’ exercise and psychological counselling. Department of Health, Hospital Authority and Hong Kong Council on Smoking and Health jointly operate 15 Smoking Cessation Health Centres to provide counselling services to people intended to quit smoking. Many veteran smokes believe that it is already too late for them to throw away their old habit. However, according to a counsellor, smoking cessation is beneficial to health. Every determinant person can succeed with the support of counselling service.If you are smoking, it will never be too late to quit. Of course, if you are not smoking, do not smoke, for avoiding smoking is always easier than quitting it.

Smoke Free Planet
Publish Date: 
Wednesday, July 7, 2004
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