Proactive and Brief Smoking Cessation Intervention for Smokers at Outdoor Smoking “Hotspots” in Hong Kong
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Increased outdoor smoking is a common phenomenon after indoor smoking bans were in place. A series of observational studies were conducted to evaluate a novel, proactive, and brief smoking cessation intervention at outdoor smoking “hotspots,” i.e., outdoor public areas where ashtrays were available and smokers clustered to smoke. The number of smokers at 26 selected hotspots were observed and counted for two consecutive days. Further observations of the smokers’ characteristics and brief smoking cessation intervention were conducted at ten of the hotspots with the greatest number of smokers. Responses of the smokers to the brief intervention, including a leaflet and brief smoking cessation advice using AWAR protocol delivered by trained smoking cessation ambassadors, were assessed. A total of 24,034 smokers were observed within 464 h, which equals 51.8 smokers per hour. Of the 5070 pedestrians observed at the ten hotspots during the intervention sessions, 1228 (24.2 %) were smokers. In the 1228 smokers who were approached during our intervention sessions, about two thirds were willing to receive the self-help leaflet on smoking cessation whereas about half received the brief smoking cessation advice. Recruiting smokers and delivering brief smoking cessation interventions at smoking hotspots are feasible and likely effective to reach large numbers of smokers. Studies to evaluate the effectiveness of using this approach for smoking cessation are warranted.
KeywordsSmoking cessatin Health promotion Hotspots Outdoor smoking area
We thank the People Acting for a Smokeless Society Ltd for providing funding for this project. We are grateful to Mr. Wu Ka Wai, Mr. Christopher Pumar L., Ms. Yip Wing Lam, and Ms. Yeung Tsz Yan for conducting the outreach interventions and providing smoking cessation advices to smokers: as well as Mr. Alex Au Yeung and Ms. Zoe Wan for their efforts in the coordination and data analysis of the project.
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