Hong Kong Smoke-free Leading Company Awards 2019 Concerted efforts of business community to create a smoke-free Hong KongBack

2020.08.21

Hong Kong Council on Smoking and Health (“COSH”) organized the Hong Kong Smoke-free Leading Company Awards (“the Awards”) together with Occupational Safety and Health Council and Radio 1 of Radio Television Hong Kong (“RTHK”) in 2019. The Awards in 2019 scaled a new height with more than 530 companies participating, a 10% increase as compared with the Awards in 2016. Over 130,000 employees from a wide variety of industries were benefited, including banking, property management, retail, logistics, transportation, construction and government departments, etc. A special programme jointly produced by COSH and RTHK was broadcast today (21 August) during the programme “Healthpedia” on RTHK TV31 and Radio 1 to commend the outstanding companies and highlight their remarkable smoke-free policies. It was also the first live streaming Awards ceremony on Facebook reaching out more audience.  

 

By uniting the enterprises and organizations, the Awards aimed to encourage businesses to support smoking cessation and spread smoke-free messages among employees, customers and people from all walks of life, in order to strive for a smoke-free Hong Kong. Over 80 major commerce chambers and associations fully supported the Awards by motivating their members to join. Besides, various smoking cessation service providers assisted businesses in setting up smoke-free workplaces and diverse policies.

 

Participating guests of the programme included Honourable Patron, Prof Sophia CHAN (Secretary for Food and Health), Co-organizer, Bonnie YAU (Executive Director, Occupational Safety and Health Council), Gold Awardees and Winners of the “Outstanding Smoke-free Community Involvement Award”, Connie LAM (Director of Human Resources, CLP Power Hong Kong Limited) and Jenny PONG (Director of Human Resources, Gammon Construction Limited) and Antonio KWONG (COSH Chairman). Singer, Candy LO shared her successful experience in overcoming the tobacco cravings and encouraged smokers to strengthen their quit will.

 

“Smoke-free policies at workplaces help motivate smoking employees to go smoke-free, improve work efficiency and minimize healthcare expenses which would achieve win-win-win situations for employees, company and the society.” said Antonio KWONG, COSH Chairman. COSH has organized tailored publicity programmes targeting industries with high smoking prevalence over the years. Some awardees had participated in these industry specific programmes before and now became the role models of their sectors. This year, COSH is going to launch a programme for housing management industry with an aim to enhance their role in advocating smoke-free culture.

 

Honourable Patron of the Awards, Prof Sophia CHAN, Secretary for Food and Health mentioned that company and organization support for smoke-free policies at workplace is essential in achieving a smoke-free Hong Kong. It is encouraging that there is an increasing number of companies concern the health of workforce and raise staff awareness on a smoke-free lifestyle. Promotion of smoking cessation services is one of the Government’s multi-pronged tobacco control policies. We will work closely with various partners to provide variety of smoking cessation services and explore ways to motivate smokers staying away from tobacco.

 

The Awards was first introduced in 2011 and was the fourth time in 2019 to mobilize businesses to promote smoke-free culture on a continuous basis. A judging meeting was held by an independent Judging Panel, including representatives from COSH, the Government, industry and academia in December 2019. The panel concluded that two companies received the Triple Gold Awards for their continuous commitment; 14 companies received the Gold Awards, and two of them also received the Outstanding Smoke-free Community Involvement Awards for their outstanding performance in promoting smoke-free culture in the community; 16 companies received the Silver Awards; and over 490 companies awarded the Certificates of Merit for recognition of their support.

 

A wide variety of smoke-free measures have been adopted e.g. smoking cessation reward schemes, creative smoke-free graphic designs and interactive education events. Besides, the businesses empowered non-smoking employees and their family to encourage smokers to quit and create a supportive atmosphere for smoking cessation. To conclude, management support, substantial resources allocation and collaboration with smoking cessation service providers were proven to be critical in effective implementation of smoke-free policies.

 

For more information about Hong Kong Smoke-free Leading Company Awards, please visit www.smokefreeleadingcompany.hk