MAR 2021 ISSUE 47

Participant Donates Masks in Gratitude
Message from Smoking Cessation and Tobacco Control Research Team

The Smoking Cessation and Tobacco Control research team is committed to investigating innovative interventions to help people quit smoking. From December 2018 to November 2019, its team members and student ambassadors visited smoking hotspots to recruit smokers for a randomized controlled trial funded by the General Research Fund (Research Grants Council). The trial was to assess the effect of using instant messaging to provide psychosocial and behavioural support for community smokers – and it produced an unintended benefit.

Mr Kelvin Lam joined the trial in March 2019 and was so impressed by the effort to combat smoking that one year later, when the COVID-19 pandemic was getting severe in Hong Kong and facemasks were in shortage, he got his friends together to donate 6,000 surgical masks to support the effort to help more people quit smoking.

The donors worked closely with the manufacturer and courier company and put encouraging messages on each mask package to support smokers who are trying to quit. The masks were delivered in July 2020 and distributed to smokers in our “Quit-to-Win” programme and in other studies to motivate smokers to stop smoking and live a healthier life.

The team issued a message of gratitude: “This is the first time the team has received a donation from participants – we have never expected any forms of donation in return for our work. We are very grateful for this support, not only because of the donation but also their good faith and heart to support us. It has helped to give extra motivation to all team members. With our strong belief in our work, and our participants’ sincere support, we will set our goals even higher and aim to help more smokers and other people combat smoking.”