Proactive community outreach and active referral approaches to motivate hardcore smokers to use smoking cessation services
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Hong Kong Council on Smoking and Health, Wanchai, Hong Kong SAR PRC
School of Nursing, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR PRC
School of Public Health, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR PRC
Publication date: 2021-09-02
Tob. Induc. Dis. 2021;19(Suppl 1):A151
Smoking prevalence in Hong Kong reached its record low of 10.0% in 2017. However, the majority of current smokers (68.8%) had never tried to quit. Less than one-fifth of smokers had tried smoking cessation (SC) services or specified methods to quit. Moreover, very few expressed the intention to use the services.

To further reduce smoking prevalence, motivating hardcore smokers to quit is vital. A community-based platform, on top of smoking cessation clinics, should be developed to reach out smokers and enhance the quit intention.

Hong Kong Council on Smoking and Health (COSH) launched the “Quit to Win” Contest to utilize a community outreach and proactive approach to encourage smokers to quit by fabulous prizes. Collaborating with district organizations, smokers were recruited in the streets and shopping malls in every district in a mobile way. Smokers were followed up by the contest and actively referred to SC clinics so as to enhance SC service use and success to quit.

Over the decade, totally over 680 community-based recruitment sessions and 450 smoke-free promotion activities were held. About 12,200 smokers were recruited and received brief SC advice. Smoke-free message were disseminated to nearly 300,000 members of public. Among the smokers recruited in 2009-2017 , 77.8% were hardcore smokers who had no quit attempt in one year or above . Using intention-to-treat analysis, on average 40.9% initiated at least one quit attempt during the contest, self-reported abstinence rate is 14.5% and rate of smoking reduction by half is 33.8% at 6-month follow-up. Since 2015, over 2,300 smokers had been referred to SC clinics.

The result indicated that a community outlet, proactive approach and active referral are crucial to motivate SC intention and attempt among hardcore smokers. Community outreach is necessary to enhance the service use and recognition of SC clinics.

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