Gambling on smoking

| February 9, 2018

A Macau Health Bureau (MHB) investigation conducted between 2015 and 2017 has revealed that tobacco consumption in the city decreased by 12.2 percent among those aged over 15, according to a story in The Macau Business.

There was no indication of the consumption levels in 2015 and 2017, but the story indicated that the current incidences of tobacco consumption among males and females stood at 23.2 percent and 2.7 percent respectively.

The MHB indicated that the government intended to strengthen the promotion of non-smoking through ‘timely increases in tobacco taxes’ to bring them closer to those recommended by the World Health Organization.

In 2015, the Macau government increased cigarette taxes to MOP1.5 per unit, which meant that taxes increased from 33 percent to 70 percent of the retail price.

At the same time, it reduced the number of cigarettes that a person could bring into Macau from 100 to 19.

Meanwhile, from the beginning of January, the city has enforced a revised version of legislation brought in in 2011. The revised rules ban advertising and tobacco promotions, and prohibit smoking in enclosed public spaces and within 10 meters of bus stop signs and taxi stands. Fines for smoking in the banned areas have been increased from MOP600 to MOP1,500.

The MHB said that the number of fines handed out for smoking infractions during January, at 510, were down by 20.4 percent on those handed out during January 2017. Almost 64 percent of the fines were handed to tourists.

Some 71 inspections conducted in casinos by the MHB and the Gaming Inspection and Co-ordination Bureau resulted in 108 infractions being discovered in January, 284 percent more than in the same month of last year.

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Category: Breaking News, Regulation, Tax

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