PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 21 June, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 21 June, 2011, 12:00am


We must lead the way against smoking

Hong Kong is doing well to reduce smoking, but it can still do more.

For example, the owners of bars, restaurants and malls should be held responsible if people light up in their place.

We should serve as a model for the mainland where anti-smoking policies have been less effective.

Second-hand smoke is a big problem both here and on the mainland. If we can solve it successfully, China will be able to learn from our experience.

Helen Cheung, Pooi To Middle School

We don't need all those iPads

Young people in Hong Kong have access to far more hi-tech gizmos than they need. Most of them use such expensive gadgets just for fun.

I think parents should play an active role by educating their children about the difference between 'needs' and 'wants'.

Many teens crave such gizmos just to show them off. To make matters worse, as soon as the latest model appears on the market, they want to have it.

Manufacturers are well aware of this. Many companies advertise their products directly to the growing youth market.

Young people must be taught that wasting money on useless hi-tech gizmos is unwise. They must learn to buy only things they truly need.

Schools can help by educating students about such matters.

Young people will benefit from learning to appreciate that they do not need everything they want.

Cathy Ho Yun-wa, Leung Shek Chee College

Ads everywhere can feel stifling

Recently I was travelling on the MTR and I felt oppressed. Advertisements were everywhere: on the ceiling, on the floor, on the doors and windows.

This really annoyed me. 'I can't even look out the window,' I thought.

The same sight greets us all around town. Billboards, neon signs, posters - they are everywhere.

It seems as if the city no longer belongs to its residents but rather to powerful corporations. Our interests may seem small and insignificant compared to the interests of those corporations.

The other day I lay on the grass and felt truly content. Then I looked at the sky and began to wonder: Will the sky too belong to big companies one day?

It definitely feels like we are being robbed of all our spaces.

Wong Ka-ching, Maryknoll Fathers' School

Cigarettes should be taxed more

I hate people smoking. When people smoke around me, I find it hard to breathe. Luckily, I am healthy, but many people suffer from respiratory diseases or even cancer because of second-hand smoking.

I believe the government should do more to clamp down on smoking.

First of all, it could increase the tax on cigarettes. That might deter people from smoking by making the habit very expensive.

Second, the government could ban smoking in more areas and also limit the sale of cigarettes.

To prevent a new generation of smokers, we should educate young people about the health hazards of smoking so that they will think twice before they pick up the habit.

Finally, the government should encourage habitual smokers to quit smoking.

I believe that we need new laws and creative strategies to tackle the widespread problem of smoking.

That is the only way to ensure citizens will be able to breathe more fresh air again.

Phoebe Yip, SKH Lam Kau Mow Secondary School

New system is a major headache

The new 3+3+4 educational system makes many students nervous. We wonder if the new system is good for our future. We have to complete three and a half years' worth of study in just three years.

Every day we have to speed through lessons with the teacher speaking fast as if rapping. Is this a good way for us to learn things?

Even during the summer holiday, we have to study hard so as not to fall behind. The 3+3+4 system means extra lessons and yet more extra lessons.

I feel hugely pressured, but I have no choice but to buckle down. I guess the government might as well cancel the summer holiday.

Cindy Xie, Leung Shek Chee College