Smoking prevalence drops to 9.5%

May 26, 2022

(To watch the full press conference with sign language interpretation, click here.)


Hong Kong's smoking prevalence fell from 10.2% in 2019 to 9.5% in 2021, marking the first time on record that the percentage dropped to single digits, the Government announced today.


Secretary for Food & Health Prof Sophia Chan elaborated on the city's latest smoking situation at a press conference this morning.


She cited the result of the thematic household survey conducted by the Census & Statistics Department between April and July 2021, noting that there were around 581,500 conventional cigarette smokers in the year, accounting for 9.5% of people aged 15 or above.


Each of these smokers consumed an average of 13 conventional cigarette sticks a day.


Additionally, there were about 17,500 daily smokers who consumed e-cigarettes, representing 0.3% of people aged 15 or above and a slight rise of 0.2% from 2019.


Prof Chan emphasised that the Government is determined to strengthen tobacco control measures through a comprehensive and multipronged strategy in order to achieve the target of further reducing the city's smoking prevalence to 7.8% by 2025.


It will focus on two aspects of work - preventing people from becoming smokers and smoking cessation.


She said: “We would need to further protect our young people, women and also people who may be attracted to smoking, not to be attracted. I think this is one very important direction.


“Secondly, another direction is for us to further cut down the number of smokers now. How do we do that? It is to help them quit smoking.


“Riding on these two directions, if our policies and measures are successful, the smoking prevalence will go down.”


The Government will also formulate a timetable and roadmap for achieving the Tobacco Endgame in the city by taking reference from other countries and regions, the health chief added.


It is exploring along the directions of reducing public exposure to second-hand smoke, curtailing the attractiveness of smoking products and eliminating the harm of smoking products to the next generation, and plans to consult the public on the proposal within this year.  


Meanwhile, in support of World No Tobacco Day on May 31, the Department of Health has launched the Quit in June campaign to encourage smokers to quit smoking.


Smokers may also obtain a one-week trial pack of smoking cessation drugs for free at the clinics of designated non-governmental organisations.

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