February 24, 2011 - Duty on cigarettes was proposed to rise by 41.5 percent, soaring to 70 percent of the total price of one cigarette, Financial Secretary John Tsang said Wednesday in his 2011-12 budget. Cigarette prices immediately moved up from HK$39 (5.00 USD) on average to HK$ 49 (6.28 USD) or higher on Wednesday afternoon, February 23rd closely following the budget announcement.
Hong Kong University (HKU) Response to the Increase in Tobacco Duty Presented in the Budget, HKU.hk, 2/24/2011.
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"We welcome the tobacco control measures. Increasing the tax duty on cigarettes is really an effective way of encouraging people to quit smoking, especially the younger generation," said Lisa Lau, chairman of Hong Kong Council on Smoking and Health.
Lau said the smoking population in Hong Kong remains at 670,000, roughly the same with the figure in 2009. However, the amount of young smokers aged between 15 and 29 has increased by 10 percent since then, she said. Lau suggested the government continue raising the duty tax to 75 percent of the total price as suggested by the World Health Organization (WHO).
Reference: Tax increase adds HK$10 to cigarette price by MICHELLE FEI, China Daily Clips, 2/25/2011.
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