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Open Letter to Financial Secretary, Hong Kong SAR Government Tobacco Tax Increase by 100% and Subsequent Annual Tax Increase to Accelerate Smoking Reduction
2020.01.21
Hong Kong Council on Smoking and Health (“COSH”), together with 79 organizations, sent an open letter to the Financial Secretary to urge the Government to raise tobacco tax substantially by 100% in FY2020-2021, as well as to increase annual tax subsequently in order to accelerate smoking reduction and safeguard public health. According to COSH’s Tobacco Control Policy-related Survey conducted from September 2018 to March 2019, 79.6% of respondents supported raising tobacco tax next year and the majority (70.9%) supported an annual tobacco tax increase. The survey also showed that current smokers considered a median cigarette price of HK$100 and a mean price of HK$129.8 as high enough to motivate them to quit.

Increasing tobacco tax has been proved as the single most effective measure to reduce tobacco use which can motivate smokers to quit and prevent smoking uptake in adolescents. COSH also strongly urges the Government to strengthen the multi-pronged tobacco control measures with defined schedules, including total ban on alternative smoking products, implementation of plain packaging, banning all tobacco product display at points of sale, extension of smoke-free areas and placing legal onus on venue managers for smoking offences, increasing the legal tobacco sales age to 21, tightening enforcement, as well as allocation of more resources for smoking cessation services and smoke-free education in order to achieve the Tobacco Endgame goal in Hong Kong promptly.

Click here to read the open letter
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