Hong Kong - 50% increase in tax on tobacco products approved..

February 28, 2010 - The lobbying effort by health groups (Clear the Air (CTA), Department of Community Medicine, University of Hong Kong (HKU) and Dr Judith Mackay of the World Lung Foundation (WLF) in Hong Kong) calling for a sharp rise in tobacco taxes has paid off. (Hong Kong - cigarettes too cheap, tax only 61 and 66 percent of retail price..) There has been no tobacco tax increase in Hong Kong for 8 long years since early 2001.

In addition to a number of reports in support of an increase tax on tobacco products, Secretary of Health Dr. York Chow and the Food and Health Bureau have demonstrated to the Administration the importance of increased taxation as an important healthcare measure and they have refused to compromise on this important matter. (An open letter to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) Government

The Financial Secretary John Tsang today announced that the excise duty on tobacco products will be immediately increased by 50% to HK$ 24 (3.09 USD) per pack above the current levels of just over HK$ 16 (2.06 USD) per pack.

Whilst we have sought a 100% tax increase, Clear the Air estimates that the new increased tax will hopefully: Reduce current adult smoking significantly, Reduce current youth smoking by a significant amount and prevent our non smoking youth starting their addiction due to peer pressure.

The Hong Kong Administration must now capitalize on this tax increase and move towards making Hong Kong the world’s leading non smoking territory. World Health Organization: Tobacco taxes are the most effective way to reduce tobacco use.

Reference: 50% Tobacco Tax Increase by webmaster, 2/25/2010.

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