December 12, 2010 - The proportion of smokers in the younger age groups in the 2009/10 survey dropped by about 10% compared with the 2007/08 survey, according to the latest statistical data from the Census and Statistics Department (C&SD). This drop is more apparent among young males than among young females.
A spokesman for the Food and Health Bureau said the results suggested that the Government's tobacco control measures were effective.
C&SD published yesterday (December 10) the results of its survey on the health of Hong Kong people in the Household Survey Report No. 45. The survey collected data on health-related topics, including the smoking patterns of Hong Kong people.
The survey was conducted from November 2009 to February 2010. The results showed that of the 5,842,400 persons aged 15 and over in Hong Kong, some 758,100 persons (13%) had a smoking habit at the time of enumeration, of whom about 698,700 persons (12%) had a daily smoking habit. The corresponding proportion of smokers from the results of the previous survey conducted from December 2007 to March 2008 were 13.1% and 11.8% respectively. Taking sampling variation into consideration, the overall proportion of smokers found in the 2009/10 survey was more or less the same as in the 2007/08 survey.
Analysing the results from the two surveys by age group, the percentage of daily cigarette smokers in the younger age groups of 15 to 19 and 20 to 29 had decreased from 2.4% and 12.2% to 1.8% and 11.0%, representing a drop of some 25% and 10% respectively. The drop in the proportion of smokers is more apparent among young males than among young females.
The average daily consumption of cigarettes among daily smokers dropped slightly from 13.9 sticks in the last survey to 13.7 sticks in the latest survey. There was a more notable drop in the average daily consumption of cigarettes among heavy smokers (those with daily consumption of more than 20 sticks), from an average of 33.9 sticks per day to 28.5 sticks.
Reference: Hong Kong: Smoking prevalence drops among young people, StockMarketsReview.com, 12/11/2010.
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