9 April 2007 – Department of Health Press Release
Cigarettes containing low levels of tar and nicotine were not necessarily less harmful and the best way to protect health was to quit smoking, a spokesman for the Department of Health said today (April 9).
The spokesman said that according to the findings of the latest review of the tar and nicotine yields of 93 brands of cigarettes in Hong Kong in 2006, the average tar and nicotine yields were 8.9 milligrams and 0.77 millgrams per cigarette (mg/cig) respectively, representing a drop of 0.2 mg/cig and a rise of 0.01 mg/cig respectively over the findings of 2005.
The spokesman stressed that cigarettes even in the low-tar group were harmful to smokers’ health.
“When smokers choose cigarettes in this group instead of cigarettes in the middle-tar or high-tar groups, they may take larger and more frequent puffs or even smoke more cigarettes each day.
“Quitting smoking is the only way to reduce a smoker’s risk of developing heart diseases and cancers,” the spokesman said.
In view of this, tar group designation had been deleted from the Smoking (Public Health) Ordinance.
People can obtain details of the review for 2006 from the Government Laboratory website at http://www.govtlab.gov.hk.
The spokesman reminded people that both smoking and secondhand smoke were hazardous to health. Smoking cessation services, including counselling and nicotine replacement therapy to smokers, are provided by the department and the Hospital Authority to safeguard the health of the community.
The department also set up the Tobacco Control Office in 2001 to co-ordinate and enhance the Government’s tobacco control efforts.
People may visit the the office website at http://www.tco.gov.hk or call the office’s hotline 1833 183 to obtain more information on stopping smoking.