Letters to the Editor, August 9, 2017

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 09 August, 2017, 4:07pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 09 August, 2017, 4:07pm

Programmes to quit smoking are available

I refer to the report on Albert Ho’s lung cancer diagnosis (“Pro-democracy politician ­Albert Ho Chun-yan treated for cancer”, July 28) and would like to send him my best wishes for his ­recovery.

Early detection in this ­instance has provided the ­greatest opportunity for effective treatment and care, and the Hong Kong Cancer Fund commends Mr Ho and his team for their honesty in giving a voice to this important health issue.

This publicity draws attention to the widespread and ­serious nature of this disease, and the need for more awareness. We are greatly concerned that lung cancer is responsible for the most cancer-related deaths every year, and is the ­second most common cancer in Hong Kong (Hong Kong Cancer ­Registry, 2014 figures).

Although there is no definitive cause for lung cancer, smoking is widely recognised to be a key risk factor. Smoking causes up to 90 per cent of lung cancer diagnoses in Hong Kong males and internationally, and the World Health Organisation identifies tobacco as one of the biggest public health risks the world has ever faced.

Most people start smoking in their youth, a time when health risks can be underestimated or undervalued. Smoking is extremely addictive, leading to it becoming a lifelong habit, which is especially dangerous given the risk of cancer increases significantly after the age of 50.

The Cancer Fund strongly urges people to quit smoking, or better yet never start.

Smoking increases the risk of various cancers, including ­cancer of the lung, colon, ­bladder, and mouth and upper throat.

We started our anti-smoking campaigns in the 1990s to ­promote the health benefits of not smoking. The cancer risk can be reduced immediately after quitting smoking and we have long been promoting the health benefits of avoiding this harmful habit. Tobacco is the single biggest preventable cause of cancer in the world.

The government and ­the Hospital Authority have free programmes to help people quit smoking.

While quitting may feel hard, the Cancer Fund knows that ­facing cancer is undeniably harder and can have a lasting impact on entire ­families.

Sally Lo, founder and chief executive, Hong Kong Cancer Fund

Real social problems lead to discontent

I refer to John Dainton’s letter (“Stop whining so that HK can more forward”, July 31).

The whining comes from ­different sections of society and there are reasons for it.

Hong Kong is an international city and, in such a developed society, it is expected that the government will address the needs of the population. ­However, in areas like health care and housing it is failing to do this. How can Hongkongers who live in substandard housing be expected to be happy?

The government should ­recognise that this discontent exists and that it will get worse unless action is taken to deal with these problems.

Leo Sin Kong-chun, Sheung Shui

More e-sports events can boost tourism

The three-day e-sports festival last weekend proved popular, with a lot of gamers coming from overseas.

It was the first event of its kind in Hong Kong and many locals were there hoping to learn something from the top ­international ­players.

The government gave a grant of HK$35 million for the festival and, as it was so successful, I hope additional funding will be made available so that we can see more of these events involving gamers from here and abroad.

E-sports festivals will be good news for the tourism ­sector, one of Hong Kong’s ­pillars. While these events can boost the economy, we should not ­forget that a lot of young people spend too long on computers, often playing the kinds of games featured at the weekend.

Even if they want to become professional gamers, they need to realise how tough it is to break through and actually make a ­living. Youngsters must see their school studies as a priority, ­before they think about taking up e-sports as a career.

There needs to be more ­education to prevent students ­becoming addicted to their ­electronic devices.

Theodore Tam, Po Lam

Rail link is a sign of good relationship

I agree with those who say that the co-location arrangement at the West Kowloon express rail link terminus is consistent with the Basic Law.

I think that most people are okay with the proposed arrangement (“Hongkongers are ‘calm’ about joint checkpoint plan for high-speed rail terminal, top Chinese official says”, August 8). It is evidence of the good relationship between Hong Kong and the rest of China.

The new line will provide faster links to the mainland. While we have to respect “one country, two systems”, we must not forget that we are still part of the nation.

There are immigration rules that apply to Hong Kong and those that apply to the mainland, and all travellers have to do is abide by them. This rail link will help Hong Kong’s economy.

Winnie Chen Yat-yan, Tseung Kwan O