MAR 2022 ISSUE 49

In the Media

The School has been implementing a Baby-friendly Community Initiative Program in Hong Kong since 2019, to strengthen awareness among mothers and the public about a breastfeeding-friendly attitude. The programme has pioneered a new baby care app, which provides timely support and useful information on baby care facilities to mothers to sustain breastfeeding, and organises training workshops for mothers and corporates. Dr Kris Lok Yuet-wan, Assistant Professor, explained the programme in several television interviews.

(Hong Kong Open TV (Channel 77), i-CABLE Finance Info Channel – June 12, 2021; i-CABLE News Channel – June 13, 2021)

The Hong Kong Council on Smoking and Health (COSH) and HKU’s School of Public Health and School of Nursing held a joint press conference on August 3, 2021 to announce the first evidence of escalating risks of respiratory symptoms in adolescent users of heated tobacco product (HTP), which are even higher than the risks for smokers of traditional cigarettes.

A survey of nearly 35,000 secondary school students by HKU found that adolescents who had never used cigarettes but used HTPs had an 88% higher risk of persistent respiratory symptoms for at least three months (such as cough, congestion or phlegm) compared with adolescents who never used HTPs. The risk of persistent respiratory symptoms was also 46% higher in exclusive ever HTP users versus exclusive ever cigarette users.

According to COSH’s Tobacco Control Policy-related Survey conducted by HKU School of Nursing during March to July 2020, only 9.9% of current smokers had an intention to use HTPs but 70.9% of HTP users were dual users of both HTPs and conventional cigarettes. This indicated that HTPs pose health risks rather than help cigarette smokers to quit cigarettes.

Dr Kelvin Wang Man-ping, Associate Professor of HKU School of Nursing, noted: “Two-thirds of citizens supported a total ban on alternative smoking products including HTPs and e-cigarettes, including 40% of current smokers. And the claims that alternative smoking products help quit smoking were unsubstantiated.”

Dr Wang elaborated on the findings during follow-up interviews on Metro Radio “健康脈搏” on August 19 and RTHK “香港家書” on August 21. He also subsequently appeared on the YouTube channel “HiEggo”(健康旦)on October 2 and 3 to discuss the difference between electronic cigarettes and heated tobacco products (HTPs) and the negative impacts of traditional cigarettes, electronic cigarettes and HTPs, and to debunk some of the myths about smoking, as well as offer useful tips for quitting smoking.

He further discussed the hazards of e-cigarettes and HTPs on the RTHK programme “精靈一點” on October 19, when he pointed out that teenagers might be misled that HTPs are healthier than traditional cigarettes. He cited HKU research conducted in 2019 that showed 0.8% of primary school students and 2.3% of secondary school students had tried e-cigarettes or HTPs.

Dr Wang also pressed these messages home on the TV programme “News Magazine”(新聞透視)broadcast on Jade TV Channel 81 on October 23 and agreed that banning the sale of e-cigarettes and HTPs would be an effective way to reduce the number of smokers.

(HK01, Now News, RTHK,, – August 3, 2021; Hong Kong Economic Times, Ming Pao Daily News, Sing Pao, The Standard – August 4, 2021; Oriental Daily News – August 6, 2021; Metro Radio – August 19, 2021; RTHK, Bastillepost,,,,, Oriental Daily News, Sing Tao Daily Online – August 21, 2021; HiEggo – October 2 & 3, 2021; RTHK – October 19, 2021; Jade TV (Channel 81) – October 23, 2021)

The “Smoking Cessation Program in the Workplace” (SCPW) launched by The Lok Sin Tong Benevolent Society, Kowloon, in 2013 has been shown to be effective in helping smokers to quit and reduce their smoking, in an analysis by the School of Nursing and School of Public Health of the LKS Faculty of Medicine.

The SCPW was established to promote a smoke-free workplace and provide outreach smoking cessation services for working adults. The Faculty’s scholars were commissioned to evaluate the effectiveness of the programme and announced results regarding the fourth phase of the programme at a press conference held on August 27.

Ninety-one corporates participated in the fourth phase, involving 809 employees who were smokers at the start of this study in January 2019. Among them, 106 (13.1%) were female and 703 (86.9%) were male. Half of these participants were 30 to 49 years old. Two different smoking cessation counselling services were provided to these smokers – either health talks with personalised WhatsApp communication, or health talks with regular SMS notifications. Telephone counselling and a small booklet were provided for each group.

Dr Kelvin Wang Man-ping, Associate Professor of HKU School of Nursing, announced that as of March 2021, the six-month follow-up showed the overall employee quit rate was 20.5%, the rate of reducing smoking was 50.8% and the rate of reducing smoking by at least half was 19.8%. During the 12-month follow-up, the overall employee quit rate was 25.5%, the rate of reducing smoking was 49.2%, and the rate of reducing smoking by at least half was 19.3%. In total, the programme successfully assisted 74.7% of smokers to quit smoking or reduce their smoking rate.

(Hong Kong Commercial Daily,, Oriental Daily News – August 27, 2021, Ta Kung Pao – September 8, 2021)

HKUMed’s School of Nursing and School of Public Health, in collaboration with the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology in seven public hospitals in Hong Kong, found that a quick intervention during regular prenatal visits, which combines brief advice with nicotine replacement therapy sampling and referral to a cessation service, could increase the chance of smoking cessation among expectant fathers by 90% and promote family harmony. The result has been published in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Dr Kelvin Wang Man-ping, Associate Professor, and Dr Kevin Luk Tzu-tsun, Research Assistant Professor of the School of Nursing, discussed the research findings and advocated giving expectant fathers a brief cessation intervention as a routine practice in prenatal care.

(am730,, Hong Kong Economic Times, Mirage News, Skypost,, UrbanLife – October 4, 2021; India Education Diary – October 5, 2021)

Dr Kelvin Wang Man-ping discussed the health risks of waterpipe tobacco smoking (also known as Hookah Smoking or Shisha Smoking) during an interview with the TVB programme “時事多面睇”.

He indicated that waterpipe smoking is as hazardous as traditional cigarettes or Heated Tobacco Products (HTPs). He suggested that substantially increasing the tobacco tax and increasing the provision of smoking cessation services may help to achieve a smoke-free Hong Kong.

(Jade TV (Channel 81) – November 10, 2021)