In response to World No Tobacco Day on 5 May, the Department of Health announced today (31 May) that it will distribute free smoking cessation drug trial kits to smokers in June, and those in need can download the "Quitter" App, fill in the questionnaire and collect it at more than 29 community pharmacies, but if they have not successfully quit smoking after two weeks of use, they will need to receive the services of HA smoking cessation clinics.
The Hong Kong Thoracic and Lung Association said that after smokers are diagnosed with new coronary pneumonia, the chance of worsening into severe disease increases by up to 200.1 times, and smokers are advised to quit smoking as soon as possible.
Director of the Office of Tobacco and Alcohol Control of the Department of Health, Feng Ying, announced that 5,000 doses of smoking cessation drugs have been prepared for trial packs, which will be distributed free of charge next month. Members of the public who plan to quit smoking can scan the QR code to receive a week's worth of trial packs by downloading the "Quitting Smoking Expert" app and filling in the questionnaire.
Non-daily smokers should not use a smoking cessation trial
Feng also pointed out that the smoking cessation drug trial pack is suitable for traditional cigarette, electronic cigarette and heated cigarette addicts to help them get through the first week of withdrawal symptoms. However, the drug contains nicotine, so it is not recommended for non-daily smokers.
If smokers are still unable to quit smoking after using a two-week dose, they can call a quit line (1833183) or go to HA clinics to receive smoking cessation services.
Feng also stressed that the purpose of the new service is to encourage smokers to try to quit smoking, and "smoking cessation drugs are used to replace smoking cessation services." In addition, smoking cessation clinics and DHC centres also provide smoking cessation drug trial kits.
The Government will launch a consultation on tobacco control measures next month, and Fong Ying said that since the authorities have banned the import of alternative cigarettes into Hong Kong, the prohibition on possession is also justified. She also pointed out that Hong Kong's cigarette tax still does not reach 75% of the world's recommendation, and believes that there is still room for increase.
Smokers have a maximum 1.5-fold increase in the chance of becoming severely ill after being diagnosed with the new crown
Ni Zhenli, president of the Hong Kong Thoracic and Pulmonary Association, said that smokers have a 67% higher risk of hospitalization after contracting the new crown pneumonia than non-smokers. According to at least 22 foreign literature, the chance of smokers getting seriously ill after contracting new coronary pneumonia is 15% to 151% higher than that of non-smokers, that is, up to 1.5 times.
Ni also shared the case that a patient who smoked for up to 40 years and smoked one pack of cigarettes a day was sent to the intensive care unit after being diagnosed, during which he needed to be treated with four-degree oxygen, steroids and remdesivir.
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