Anti-smoking lobbyists in Hong Kong are urging the government to increase its tobacco tax to at least 75 percent immediately and to 100 percent by the next fiscal year, according to a story by Qi Luo for the Hong Kong Standard.
The Council on Smoking and Health said the current tobacco tax accounted for between 65 and 68 percent of the retail price, which was below the 70 percent recommended by the World Health Organization.
The council estimates that the prevalence of smoking would drop from 10.7 percent to single digits within two years of the 100 percent tax taking effect.
“The tobacco tax was hiked by 50 percent and 41.5 percent in 2009 and 2011 respectively,” said Executive Director Vienna Lai Wai-yin.
“As a result, the incidence of smoking dropped from 12 percent in 2009 to 10.7 percent in 2012.
“A high tobacco tax will push smokers to quit or reduce tobacco consumption, as well as prevent those who plan to start smoking, especially youngsters.”
Category: Breaking News