Hong Kong Council on Smoking and Health (COSH) organized the Hong Kong Smoke-free Leading Company Awards together with Occupational Safety and Health Council in 2016 with the aims to encourage businesses to promote smoke-free messages to their stakeholders including employees, customers and the general public on a continuous basis. The Awards received over 480 applications, a significant increase of 40% as compared with 2013, benefiting more than 65,000 employees from a wide variety of industries, including construction, retail, logistics, property management and government departments. Nearly 50 major commerce chambers and associations also fully supported the Awards by motivating members to join. Besides, in collaboration with smoking cessation service providers, businesses successfully urged their stakeholders to join the “Smoke-free Family”.

COSH co-organized the awards presentation ceremony with Radio Television Hong Kong Radio 2 today (27 February) at Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. The ceremony was officiated by Prof Sophia CHAN (Under Secretary for Food and Health), Dr Cindy LAI (Deputy Director of Health), CHAN Yiu-wah (Acting Deputy Director of Broadcasting (Programmes)), Bonnie YAU (Executive Director, Occupational Safety and Health Council), Prof LAM Tai-hing (Chair Professor of Community Medicine & Sir Robert Kotewall Professor in Public Health, School of Public Health, The University of Hong Kong), Dr Jeff LEE (Head, Tobacco Control Office, Department of Health), Prof Patrick WONG (Chairman, Quit-Winners Club), Prof Samuel WONG (Head, Division of Family Medicine and Primary Healthcare, The Jockey Club School of Public Health and Primary Care, The Chinese University of Hong Kong), Antonio KWONG (COSH Chairman), Yolanda NG (COSH Vice-chairman), Alex FONG and Albert AU (Smoke-free Ambassadors).

Prof Sophia CHAN, Under Secretary for Food and Health claimed that businesses could establish a positive image, fulfill corporate social responsibility and serve as role models for other businesses, resulting in a win-win-win situation for corporations, employees and the community.

“Businesses play a significant role in promoting a smoke-free Hong Kong. This is the third year of the Awards. It is very encouraging to see more and more businesses value the health of their employees and the general public. Many innovative, diverse and effective smoke-free measures have been implemented to promote the smoke-free lifestyle through various ways and networks. ” said Antonio KWONG, COSH Chairman.

This year, three companies received the Triple Gold Awards for their continuous commitment; ten companies received the Gold Awards, and one of them also received the Most Creative Smoke-free Policy Award for recognition of its innovative smoke-free initiatives; nine received the Silver Awards and over 450 companies were awarded the Certificates of Merit. For awardees list, please click here.

A wide variety of smoke-free measures have been adopted which effectively united the employees, industry and the general public to create a supportive atmosphere for smoking cessation, e.g. World No Tobacco Day promotion activity, smoking cessation reward scheme, smoking cessation support group and smoke-free corner to gather co-workers’ support for quitters. Click here for the award booklet which introduces the wide variety of smoke-free measures adopted by the award-winning companies. COSH also launched a tailored programme, Smoke-free Construction Force, in 2016 to disseminate smoke-free messages among construction workers whose smoking prevalence is high.

Smoke-free Ambassadors Alex FONG and Albert AU shared the benefit of living a smoke-free lifestyle and motivated smokers to kick the habit. Albert Au and singer Phil LAM also encouraged quitters to enjoy music in order to get rid of the craving for smoking. Besides, Hong Kong Guoshu Association promoted a healthy smoke-free lifestyle by martial art performance and stretching exercise demonstration.