I worked as a Smoking Cessation Counsellor, aiming to promote smoking cessation in youth smokers through telephone follow-ups and conducting research on the impact of smoking cessation policies in smoking reduction. The target group is Cantonese-speaking people aged 25 or below. This is my first experience in practicing public health promotion among smokers. We started searching for youth smokers by reaching them out in schools particularly vocational training centers. We then contacted them by follow-up phone calls.
As Talmud said: “Whoever saves one life, save the world entire”. Everyone smokes for a reason and everyone can also quit for a reason.
It was not uncommon for me to hear smokers saying “no” to our services and were reluctant to quit smoking initially. However, when they hear from my clinical experience due to my nursing background and when I demonstrated empathy to their situation, the youth smokers were more willing to receive counseling and to take actions in reducing smoking.
Adolescents and teenagers are vulnerable to peer pressure. If we can intervene as early as possible, the negative impact/damage of smoking to the smokers themselves and the entire public health can be much reduced.
Pui Chi CHUN (MPH Part-Time 2015-2017, ID)