Currently, tobacco duty accounts for about 62% of the retail price of cigarettes in Hong Kong, far lower than the rate of 75% recommended by the World Health Organization.
Financial Secretary Paul Chan Mo-po proposed on Wednesday to increase the duty on cigarettes by 60 cents per stick. It means the price of a pack of 20 cigarettes will spike up from Hk $62 to at least Hk $74.
Following the HK$12 increase in price, the tobacco duty for a pack of cigarettes will stand at HK$50.12, marking a jump of more than 30 percent. And the price for a pack could reach HK$75 or HK$76 with increased manufacturing costs.
Chan said the rise in cigarette prices will increase the incentive of smokers to reduce or quit smoking, and the authorities’ target is to bring the smoking prevalence rate down from the current 9.5 percent to 7.8 percent.
The finance chief further added that the government will constantly review the overall effectiveness of tobacco control measures. They will set up efforts to promote smoking cessation as well as law enforcement against illicit cigarettes.
- Published By Team Hongkong Journalist