Zero Smoke: a Blue Skies China campaign

I have been an environmental campaigner for over a decade in Hong Kong. And after all this work, after all the lobbying and improvements we have seen on power generation, vehicle emissions, climate change, I still today find myself thinking twice about taking my daughter outside – because of the cigarette smoke.

Blue Skies China publisher James Ockenden (L) with daughter Oona and wife Cynthianna, enjoying December sunshine on Lamma IslandThe air on Hong Kong streets is disgusting. The blossom from Kowloon Park offers a tempting scent of what could be, but the fragrance carries a deadly sting: cigarette smoke. With millions of smokers, thousands of burning ashtrays, the air has become unbreathable. Anecdotally, every second breath on busy Hong Kong streets is secondhand smoke.

Blue Skies China is now committing new resources to address the issue. We are working on new policy, shifting our mission towards something vital, relevant and impactful: Zero Smoke.

The vision is simple: zero smoke on the streets. To achieve this without abusing individual rights, we have developed a mission based on smoking culture and enforcement of existing laws.

Zero Smoke will concentrate on three areas:

1. Tackling Hong Kong’s “smoking friendly” culture: eg questioning the need for ashtrays which line the streets
2. Supporting enforcement and respect of existing non-smoking areas
3. Raising awareness and education of air quality, breathing and the power of breath, through school visits, education programmes and workshops.

We respect individual rights and freedoms, and do not propose to achieve zero smoke through further prohibition. We are open to work with any organization, government official, corporation or individual who can support these areas.

James Ockenden

Founder & publisher, Blue Skies China

Tel +852 9410 4988