HKU Youth Quitline appreciates peer smoking cessation counsellors in the 10th anniversary celebration ceremony

HKU Youth Quitline appreciates peer smoking cessation counsellors in the 10th anniversary celebration ceremony

Print

The youth-oriented smoking cessation hotline "Youth Quitline" was jointly established by the Smoking Cessation Research Team of School of Nursing and School of Public Health of the Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, The University of Hong Kong (HKU), the Department of Social Work and Social Administration of HKU and the Hong Kong Council on Smoking and Health in 2005. "Youth Quitline" has been funded by Tobacco Control Office of the Department of Health since October 2011 to help youth smokers quit smoking. "Youth Quitline" marks the tenth anniversary in 2015 and will continue to provide smoking cessation quitline service to youth smokers in the community and organise training programmes for nurturing young people to become peer smoking cessation counsellors.

Peer Smoking Cessation Telephone Counselling Training Programme

Dr William Li Ho-cheung, Project Director of the "Youth Quitline" and Associate Professor of School of Nursing of HKU, stated that smoking cessation telephone counselling training programme had provided participants knowledge related to smoking and health and counselling and had nurtured many young people with rich experience in smoking cessation counselling. He thanked the peer smoking cessation counsellors" contribution on "Youth Quitline" over the past decade. They had effectively utilised the knowledge and counselling skills acquired from the training programme to help youth smokers quit smoking.

Ms Chiu Lai Yi, current registered nurse and graduate of School of Nursing, HKU, shared her counselling experience in "Youth Quitline". She mentioned that it was meaningful to serve as a peer smoking cessation counsellor because she could assist youth smokers to quit smoking and develop a healthy living. She said she would motivate more smokers to quit smoking in hospital settings using smoking cessation counselling skills.

Effectiveness of "Youth Quitline"

"Youth Quitline" has received over 7,000 telephone inquiries, provided smoking cessation counselling for 1,591 youth smokers and organised 7 training programmes for more than 300 students from secondary schools and tertiary institutions to become peer smoking cessation counsellors over the past decade. As of 31 January 2015, the smoking cessation rate after joining the programme for 6 months was 23.6%.

Smoking Profile among Youth Smoking Joining the Smoking Cessation Programme

In the past decade, almost eighty percent of participants (75.7%) were boys; nearly half of them (45.8%) were between the ages of 14 and 17; over 90% were unmarried and 70% of them were full-time students. Girls started to smoke, on average, at the age of 13.3 which was similar to boys (14). Nearly two-third (around 65%) of participants smoked, on average, 10 cigarettes or less per day; they also had a mild level of nicotine dependence (62.5%). The reasons of wanting to quit smoking among participants were mainly health reasons (51.8%) and financial reasons (29.5%).

The Way Forward

Professor Lam Tai-hing, Sir Robert Kotewall Professor in Public Health and Chair Professor of School of Public Health of Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, HKU hoped that "Youth Quitline" would develop continuously with further expansion on publicity campaigns through social media and outreaching programmes in order to motivate more youth smokers to quit smoking.

About "Youth Quitline" 5111 4333

The Smoking Cessation Research Team of School of Nursing, Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, The University of Hong Kong (HKU), in collaboration with the School of Public Health of Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, the Department of Social Work and Social Administration of HKU and the Hong Kong Council on Smoking and Health, established the first youth-oriented smoking cessation hotline "Youth Quitline" in 2005. "Youth Quitline" aims to raise the awareness of smoking cessation service among young people in Hong Kong and to provide FREE of CHARGE smoking cessation quitline service to youth smokers. It also aims to provide training to young people as peer smoking cessation counsellors. All these are always done together with vigorous research and evaluation to improve the quitline service and generate real evidence to support tobacco control. "Youth Quitline" also proactively helps schools and other organisations to promote smoking cessation by the outreach programmes. The quitline targets youth smokers aged 25 or below. It operates from 5 pm to 9 pm on weekdays and from 2 pm to 8 pm over weekends. Voice mails are available during non-operating hours and public holidays. All young people are welcome to contact "Youth Quitline" through telephone and social media (WhatsApp, Facebook) to join the smoking cessation programme.


Guests and peer smoking cessation counsellors took a group photo at the HKU Youth Quitline 10th anniversary celebration ceremony.


Professor Agnes Tiwari Fung-yee (Left 1), Professor and Head of School of Nursing, Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, HKU, Professor Lam Tai-hing (Left 2), Sir Robert Kotewall Professor in Public Health, Chair Professor of School of Public Health, Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, Professor Sophia Chan Siu-chee (Left 3), Under Secretary for Food and Health, HKSAR, Dr William Li Ho-cheung (Right 3), Project Director of the Youth Quitline and Associate Professor of School of Nursing, Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, Mr Antonio Kwong Cho-shing (Right 2), Chairman of Hong Kong Council on Smoking and Health and Dr Christine Wong Wang (Right 1), Head of Tobacco Control Office, Department of Health celebrate the 10th year anniversary of HKU Youth Quitline.


Dr William Li Ho-cheung, Project Director of the "Youth Quitline" and Associate Professor of School of Nursing of HKU, points out that smoking cessation telephone counselling training programme had provided participants knowledge related to smoking and health and counselling and had nurtured many young people with rich experience in smoking cessation counselling.


Professor Lam Tai-hing, Sir Robert Kotewall Professor in Public Health and Chair Professor of School of Public Health of Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, HKU hopes that "Youth Quitline" would develop continuously with further expansion on publicity campaigns in order to motivate more youth smokers to quit smoking.

 Presentation

Back