We conducted an exploratory controlled trial to examine the efficacy of restricting access to charcoal in preventing suicides from carbon monoxide poisoning by charcoal burning in Hong Kong. All charcoal packs were removed from the open shelves of major retail outlets in the intervention region for 12 months; in the control region, charcoal packs were displayed as usual. The suicide rate from charcoal burning was reduced by a statistically significant margin in the intervention region (P<0.05) but not in the control region. We observed no significant change in the suicide rate using other methods in either location.
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