According to a report from Hong Kong Sing Tao Daily on the 29th, a Hong Kong University study showed that the proportion of young people aged 25 or below in Hong Kong using new tobacco products such as e-cigarettes and heated tobacco reached a record high. From 2019 to 2020, it was as high as 85.9%, an increase of 13 from the previous year. It is the third consecutive year that it has climbed up to 10%. The situation is worrying.
According to a survey conducted by the “Hong Kong University Youth Smoking Cessation Hotline”, 51.3% of the interviewed teenagers said that the main reason for using new tobacco products is curiosity, followed by peer influence (37.3%), and they hope to use new tobacco products to quit or reduce smoking. Smoking cigarettes (accounting for 21.6%). Respondents generally believe that new tobacco products are “healthier” than traditional tobacco products, and mistakenly believe that they can help quit smoking. The result is counterproductive, and they are encouraged to use more new tobacco products in disguise. In addition, the interviewees also said that they would be attracted by the various publicity, trendy packaging and design on the Internet, and friends would recommend and share with each other.
Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan have very strict controls on traditional paper tobacco, but e-cigarettes, as a “new thing” that has emerged in recent years, have been in a fuzzy area. In October 2018, when Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor read the second policy address during his tenure, she announced that Hong Kong would completely ban e-cigarettes. The Hong Kong government then formally submitted a draft to the Legislative Council, proposing a ban on the import, manufacture, sale, distribution, and promotion of e-cigarettes or heated tobacco. Once convicted, it will be fined 50,000 Hong Kong dollars and imprisoned for half a year. The medical profession in Hong Kong believes that e-cigarettes and traditional cigarettes also contain potentially harmful compounds such as nicotine, various heavy metals, and formaldehyde, which seriously endanger health. However, the public generally misunderstands them and underestimates the health effects of e-cigarettes. I believe that e-cigarettes can help quit smoking. However, the e-cigarette ban has been opposed and resisted by many Hong Kong parliamentarians and some groups. They believe that the research data cited in the legislation is inaccurate and the research object is the “simulated cigarette-type” e-cigarette device that has long been eliminated, rather than the current market. Mainstream products. After a protracted struggle, the Smoking Bills Committee of the Hong Kong Legislative Council announced in June last year that it would stop discussing the ban and temporarily abandon its plan to ban new tobacco and vaping products.
Professor Lin Daqing of the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Hong Kong said that the latest findings warned of the need for immediate action and urged the Legislative Council to pass the government as soon as possible to submit a draft for a comprehensive ban on new tobacco products, including e-cigarettes and heated tobacco products.