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Smoke-free Hong Kong Green Ribbon Action
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Objective:
To unite the effort from the public in supporting the raise of tobacco tax by 41.5% announced in the 2011/12 Budget, so as to protect the health of public, prevent youth smoking and encourage smoking cessation.

Reasons of Supporting Tobacco Tax Raise:
(1) For public health protection, the Government raised tobacco tax as a means of tobacco control
 
The latest figure shows that more than 690,000 residents aged 15 or above in Hong Kong had a daily smoking habit and the daily smoking prevalence was 12%. Tobacco is responsible for 7,000 deaths caused by smoking and secondhand smoke every year. Studies suggest that smoking mortality rates as high as 50%, meaning that 345,000 of the current 690,000 daily smokers will die from smoking if they do not quit immediately. It is also the most effective way to protect the health of 88% Hong Kong people who are non-smokers.
 
(2) The raising of tobacco tax is an effective means to encourage people to kick the habit.

According to the World Bank’s analysis, every 10% increase in the price of a pack of cigarette in high income regions and countries such as Hong Kong would result in a 4% decrease in tobacco consumption. From research and experience in tobacco control, raising tobacco tax to encourage smoking cessation has immediate effect.
After the tobacco tax raised by 50% in 2009; the calls to DH’s integrated smoking cessation hotline increased 4 times. According to the latest figure, more than 240 calls per day were received after the announcement of the Budget (23 and 24 February 2011), which is 6 times more compared to the same period last year. It has proved that the raise in tobacco tax will encourage smokers to quit.

(3) Raise tobacco tax to increase retail price of cigarette can effectively prevent children and youth from smoking.

Tobacco causes death is an indisputable fact. China has become a party to the “Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC)” of World Health Organization (WHO), and Hong Kong Government is responsible to raise the price of the tobacco products by raising tobacco tax to effectively reduce and prevent people from smoking. Article 6 of the FCTC states, price and tax measures are an effective means of reducing tobacco consumption, particularly to the youth. Since the increase in tobacco tax in 2009, the percentage of smokers aged 15-29 remarkably reduced by 10%. It indicates that the raising of tobacco tax will reduce the desire of people to start smoking, especially for young people who are most sensitive to price. Besides, ex-smokers will also be discouraged to relapse into smoking.

 
Raise Tobacco Tax for Smoking Cessation – United Effort Advocacy Campaign
Hong Kong Council on Smoking and Health organized the “Raise Tobacco Tax for Smoking Cessation – United Effort Advocacy Campaign" on 16 January 2011. We received positive support from over 200 organizations from different sectors including medical and health, education, academia, social welfare, women’s group, sports, arts, conservation, professional bodies and many other groups. All of them actively responded to support the proposal, which illustrated the strong wills of establishing smoke-free Hong Kong from the community.

Let’s join the “Smoke-free Hong Kong Green Ribbon Action”

Date : 20 March 2011 (Sunday)
Time : 11:30am to 1:00pm
Venue : Central Government Offices, Lower Albert Road, Central

For public health protection and to create a green smoke-free environment for the future, members of the public are invited to tie a green ribbon provided by the organizer onto the “Smoke-free Tree” to show their support for the 41.5% tobacco tax raise.



Enquiry Hotline: 2185-6388
Enquiry Email: project@cosh.org.hk
 
More on Green Ribbon Action
Raise Tobacco Tax for Smoking Cessation - United Effort Advocacy Campaign
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