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18 May 2016
Smoking  

Introduction

Cigarettes release many chemicals such as tar, nicotine, carbon monoxide which cause great harm to human body. Cigarette smokers have higher chances for cancers (especially lung cancer), heart diseases and cerebrovascular disease. Environmental tobacco smoke (second hand smoke) also increases the risk for lung cancer, heart diseases and respiratory symptoms. Smoking in pregnant women also has adverse effect on their fetus.

Situation in Hong Kong

According to the General Household Survey and Thematic Household Survey, the percentage of daily cigarette smokers among persons aged 15 and over in Hong Kong decreased steadily from 23.3% in 1982 to 10.5% in 2015 (except for years from 2000 to 2002). The percentage of male daily cigarette smokers was persistently higher than that of females: in 2015, the percentages of male and female daily cigarette smokers were 18.6% and 3.2% respectively. The percentage of female daily cigarette smokers dropped from 5.6% in 1982 to 2.6% in 1990. Then, it rebounded and reached 4.0% in 2005. Afterwards, the percentage dropped to 3.0% in 2010 and increased slightly to 3.2% in 2015.

Percentage of daily cigarette smokers aged 15 and over by sex, 1982-2015

Percentage of daily cigarette smokers aged 15 and over by sex, 1982-2015

Sources: (i) General Household Surveys for the period prior to year 2000; and
  (ii) Thematic Household Surveys for years 2000 and after.

The percentage of daily cigarette smokers among various age groups generally decreased from 1982 to 2015 (except for years from 2000 to 2002).

Percentage of daily cigarette smokers by age group, 1982-2015

Percentage of daily cigarette smokers by age group, 1982-2015

Sources: (i) General Household Surveys for the period prior to year 2000; and
  (ii) Thematic Household Surveys for years 2000 and after.

Related information

Non-smokers should never start smoking while smokers should quit smoking immediately. The Department of Health provides a wide range of quit smoking services for smokers including Smoking Cessation Hotline and Smoking Cessation Programme. For detailed statistics on situation of smoking in Hong Kong, and to know more about the harmful effects of smoking and the latest information on tobacco control in Hong Kong, please visit the website of our Tobacco Control Office.

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