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I Have a Dream

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Good morning everyone. According to the government’s statistics, every year in Hong Kong estimate more than 5700 people died from cigarettes. It accounts for 90% of lung cancer deaths in men, and more than 30% of all cancer deaths. It kills nearly 16 persons in Hong Kong every day. 1

Since 2007, the Hong Kong government has planned to restrict the act of smoking – started with proposals to make restaurants, offices and karaoke smoke free. This legal action indicated the harmful effects of smoking. It also implied that the government was taking intervention to deal with the public smoking problem. I believe that the legislation is not a restriction of freedom, and the law enforcement is not a prevention of enjoyment, but a mean to move Hong Kong towards a healthier city.

However, we have just achieved partial success. Although the number of smokers is declining, we still have a long way to go. We cannot walk alone. And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead. We cannot turn back. All people have their right to enjoy, but, when this right endangers the safety and health of the others, it should be prohibited.

So, today, we need a change. Even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream.

I have a dream that, one day everyone can take a deep breath and feel the marvelous fresh air in a busy street.

I have a dream that, one day all people can smile with their teeth in snow-white color.

I have a dream that, one day no one will line up for the smoking cessation service outside the government clinic.

I have a dream today!

I have a dream that, one day the estimated number of people died from cigarettes will fall to zero. I have a dream that, one day the former smokers and the non-smokers will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

This is our hope. With this hope, we will be able to transform the smoky city into a smoke-free paradise. With this hope, we will be able to breathe together, to smile together, and to stand up for fresh air together, knowing that we will be healthy one day.

So let freshness spread from the top of Lion Hill.

Let freshness spread from Golden Bauhinia Square.

Let freshness spread from The Peak.

But not only that.

Let freshness spread from Kowloon, from Hong Kong Island, and from New Territories, let freshness spread.

And when this happens, when we allow freshness to spread, when we let it spread from every family, from every neighborhood, from every estate, and from every region, we will be able to speed up that day when former smokers and non-smokers join hands and smile together.

Let’s construct a smoke-free city.

“You're always better off if you quit smoking; it's never too late.”-- Loni Anderson

(552 words)

1. How many people died of smoking in hong kong?. (n.d.). Retrieved from

2. You're always better off if you quit smoking; it's never too late.- Loni Anderson at Brainy quote. (n.d.). Retrieved from

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