200 Organizations and 30,000 Students Support to Raise Tobacco Tax
Hong Kong Council on Smoking and Health conducted the Press Event of “Raise Tobacco Tax for Smoking Cessation” – United Effort Advocacy Campaign at Chater Garden on 16 January. This campaign had gained support from over 200 organizations including medical organizations and tobacco control associations, medical service institutions, community and social welfare organizations, conservation, sports, arts and cultural organizations, professional societies and education institutions.
30,000 secondary and primary students had demonstrated their enthusiasm on tobacco cessation. Some students attending this press event to put their wishes into the huge wishes box. COSH will present the wishes to Financial Secretary to express their request of a smoke-free community.
Raise tax on tobacco can encourage smoking cessation and deter youth smoking. Ms. Lisa Lau, MH, JP, Chairman of COSH believed that smokers would be motivated to quit smoking after the tobacco tax was increased and youth would be discouraged from starting their first cigarette.
Hon. Andrew Cheng, Legislative Council Member expressed that smokers would decrease their tobacco consumption after raising tobacco tax. On the other hand, the government should take relevant anti-smuggling measures.
Prof. T.H. Lam, Director of School of Public Health, The University of Hong Kong quoted that many studies had revealed the hazards of smoking in increasing the risk of premature death to 50% and shortening the life expectancy for 10 years. There was a pressing need to raise tobacco tax in Hong Kong.