'Ban flavoured shisha to reduce smokers in HK' - RTHK
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'Ban flavoured shisha to reduce smokers in HK'

2024-06-10 HKT 12:26
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  • 'Ban flavoured shisha to reduce smokers in HK'
A tobacco control advocate on Monday said the government should ban flavoured shisha, as part of an overhaul of smoking controls.

Henry Tong, chairman of the Hong Kong Council on Smoking and Health, made the comment after the administration announced 10 measures last week to quickly reduce smoking, including a ban on flavoured cigarettes.

Speaking on an RTHK programme, he noted that shisha, or tobacco smoked through a waterpipe, remains legal, but said it should face similar regulations.

"Shisha is very attractive to young people and women, mainly because there are many flavours and fruity flavours. The law should be clear when it comes to banning flavoured cigarettes. There shouldn't be flavouring agents allowed in shisha," he said.

"The implementation of new policies is a step-by-step process, and it is necessary to understand the public's acceptance level. Banning sales and purchases is the first step. I think we can continue to study how to prohibit possession and hopefully that can be implemented soon."

Tong also said that banning smoking in queues was a good start given that regulations were easy to define, but a measure to stop "smoking while walking" should be implemented as soon as possible.

Meanwhile, Tsui Yuen, a member of the Long-Term Tobacco Policy Concern Group, said he agreed with the extension of smoke-free areas, but suggested the addition of smoking areas as a means of compromise.

"Non-smoking areas can suppress the problem of second-hand smoking and reduce conflicts between smokers and non-smokers. In addition to adding non-smoking areas, we can also follow Japan and Europe and add some smoking areas or smoking rooms for public use. This can reduce the problem of second-hand smoking, limit littering and help the environment," he said.

'Ban flavoured shisha to reduce smokers in HK'