Family habit up in smoke thanks to ingenious proposals

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 28 February, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 28 February, 2012, 12:00am
 

As many as 100 students won awards on Saturday for helping family members to quit smoking.

More than 13,000 children aged three to 15 entered the Hong Kong Council on Smoking and Health's (Cosh) Smoke-free Home and Smoke-free Teens Campaign.

Participants had to write a proposal explaining how they would persuade their family members to quit smoking, then carry out what they had pledged.

Po Leung Kuk Chee Jing Yin Primary School student Paul Ma Chia-po, 11, won the best proposal and got his dad to quit smoking.

'My first plan was to annoy my dad every day by making him look at the Cosh website,' he said. 'Then my mum and I would stick quit-smoking slogans all over the wall.'

Paul, who has respiratory problems, said the third step was to cough every time his dad smoked, to make him feel bad.

The plan also included a reward system - if his dad didn't smoke for a week, he would get a free meal; if he gave up totally, he'd get a camera.

Paul's father, Ma Wu-fung, said: 'I've smoked for about 30 years ... My son's [scheme] encouraged me to quit.' It took him just two months.

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