Mobile users not alarmed by scare

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 02 June, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 02 June, 2011, 12:00am


Hongkongers say they cannot and will not stop using their mobile phones, despite a new World Health Organisation report linking the devices to cancer.

Recruitment manager Rico Lorenzana, 34, said it was near impossible for Hongkongers to stop or even reduce their dependency on mobile phones.

'Yes, I'm scared now that I've seen the report but, at the same time, mobiles have become a necessity. I wish I could use it less but had this [report] come out a long time ago, then there could have been a way to cut it down.

'But if you look at society today, everything is in real time. The phone is the fastest way to talk to people and there are so many misunderstandings in texts and e-mails.'

Marketing professional Luke Yardley, 25, agreed that the report would have little impact on mobile phone habits in Hong Kong because people had other concerns.

'The Hong Kong people are already worried about a lot of things. They should be informed [about the report] but not scared of it.

'I might use a hands-free if it's a risk, but is it all phones? In 1992, I used to use my dad's old phone, which was this massive thing. I remember it made my head feel funny.

Yardley said he supported the idea of health warnings on mobile phones: 'It's the government's responsibility. Like smoking, people should be aware of the health concerns.'

However, trader Max Hui, 28, dismissed the idea as a scare tactic. 'It doesn't make sense to have health warnings,' he said. Hui said he used mobile phones 24 hours a day and had two phones - one for international calls, the other for the mainland.

'I will definitely not use it less because every phone call means more business. I don't care about getting cancer. It's just too far for me and there are lots of things we can't control,' he said.

Students Connie Yip and Ricky Ng, both 22, had mixed feelings about the report. 'It matters to me so I will use headphones instead,' Yip said. 'Hong Kong people use mobile phones a lot and I guess that's the trend; nothing can replace that.'

Ng said the cancer scare did not worry him, however. 'I think there are more than enough worries in Hong Kong,' he said.

'Multiple things can cause cancer, even drinks from Taiwan, so you can't worry about all of them.'

The benefits of a mobile phone, he added, far outweighed the health risks. Ng said: 'Even if people have two phones, they don't use them simultaneously.'

Sarah Lam, 16, Form 5 student

?I won?t stop using my phone and I don?t care about the report. If it really causes cancer, then loads of people should have cancer right now.?

Teresa Lee, 15, Form 5 student

?I don?t love my phone, but I need it. I use it everyday, just for checking text messages. The government should put health warnings so people are aware and won?t be able to blame anyone.?

Catherine Hui, 16, Form 5 student

?I?ll keep using it two or three hours a day and I text more than I call. My parents do tell me to use it less but I?m not that worried about it because you don?t only get cancer from mobile phones.?

June Leung, 17, Year 11 student

?I?ll probably still keep using it the same way. I don?t use the phone a lot, it?s texting mainly. If I?m calling, it?s to my parents or for a gathering with friends like today.?

Nikkole Rocks, 15, Year 11 student

?I?m not worried about getting cancer. Everyone?s been using phones for such a long time but I haven?t heard of people dying from mobile phones so I won?t care unless I see it in the news that people are dying from them.?

Victoria Tirado, 16, Form 5 student

?I won?t use it less because I?ve always known it might cause cancer. My dad has always told me to not keep it near me so I keep it in my bag, not my pocket.?