The tobacco endgame in Hong Kong: public support for a total ban on tobacco sales
- 1School of Public Health, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
- 2Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Center for Community-Based Research, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, US
- 3School of Nursing, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
- Correspondence to Professor Tai Hing Lam, School of Public Health, The University of Hong Kong, 21 Sassoon Road, Pokfulam, Hong Kong;
- Received 2 April 2013
- Revised 29 August 2013
- Accepted 30 August 2013
- Published Online First 17 September 2013
Background Tobacco endgame policies are increasingly advocated to end tobacco use. This study investigated public support for a total ban on tobacco sales, use and possession in Hong Kong.
Methods A telephone survey was conducted among 1537 randomly selected residents in 2012 to assess their support for a total ban on tobacco sales, usage and possession. Information on sociodemographic characteristics, smoking, and second hand smoke exposure were collected. Logistic regression was used to investigate factors associated with support for a total ban.
Results Most of the never smokers (75.3%), ex-smokers (63.9%), and nearly half of current smokers (48.9%) backed some form of a total ban on tobacco. A total ban on tobacco sales was the most popular option among the three groups, with over half (64.8%) of all respondents supporting a ban within 10 years. Current smoking and higher educational attainment were associated with less support for a total ban on tobacco sales. Among current smokers, having quit intentions and attempts to quit were associated with support for a total ban.
Conclusions A total ban on tobacco sales was supported by most respondents. Ex-smokers and current smokers also voiced substantial support, although less than never smokers. A total ban on tobacco sales before 2022 should be the goal as it is supported by most of the respondents. Interim tobacco control measures, such as tax increases, expansion of smoking cessation services and plain packaging should be implemented to help current smokers quit and reduce smoking initiation before implementation of the ban.