“Smoke-free Run” unites the community to publicize quitting for strength
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Hong Kong Council on Smoking and Health, Hong Kong SAR PRC, China
Publication date: 2021-09-02
Corresponding author
Lawrence Chu   

Hong Kong Council on Smoking and Health, 112 Kennedy Rd, Wan Chai, Hong Kong SAR PRC, Hong Kong, China
Tob. Induc. Dis. 2021;19(Suppl 1):A16
In Hong Kong, daily cigarette smokers accounted for 10.0% in 2017. The major reason cited for current smokers who had never tried and did not want to give up smoking is smoking had formed a habit (69.5%). It is essential for smokers to replace smoking by healthy habits such as doing exercises. Running is the most popular exercise among people in Hong Kong while a study also showed that running helped people quit smoking and reduce tobacco consumption.

To encourage smokers to quit smoking, a community-based running race cum carnival was launched in collaboration with community and healthcare organizations to promote the importance of a smoke-free lifestyle.

Hong Kong Council on Smoking and Health (COSH) launched the “Smoke-free Run cum Carnival” and corresponding media placement in 2019. Training workshops were organized with successful quitters sharing quit tips. The race was divided into different teams such as family, school, corporate as well as Smoke-free Buddy Team to motivate non-smokers to support smokers to beat the tobacco addiction. A carnival with game and information booths was held to enhance the public awareness on tobacco control.

The event was supported by over 40 community and smoking cessation service organizations. Nearly 1,600 runners and citizens joined the “Smoke-free Run cum Carnival”. A series of promotion videos were widely spread in online platforms with smoke-free message disseminated to nearly 86,000 members of public.

The result indicated that a community-based sports event is crucial in uniting the community to publicize the benefits of developing healthy habits and quitting smoking for strength.

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