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2018 Global Progress Report on Implementation of the WHO FCTC

FCTC Treaty – Hong Kong is still non compliant

Sadly Hong Kong is not amongst the 71 parties who have successfully implemented Article 5.3 and tobacco front legislators are not prevented from interfering in tobacco control legislation which they do with abandon.

One Liberal party legislator (Shiu) openly stated on Legco TV that he was ‘the representative of the tobacco industry in Legco’. Wong Ting-Kwong is an admitted advisor to the Tobacco Control Concern Group. Paul Tse is a supporter of HKUAIT /Stopit front group which is funded by PMI and the Coalition on Tobacco Affairs.

The Liberal Party and perhaps others are suspected to have been funded by the tobacco industry for many years (based on their actions and efforts on behalf of this industry in Legco) , but there is still no legislation to command the release of political party funding sources.

Long time Liberal member ($20) Tommy Cheung forecast doom and gloom for the catering industry and opposed initial Cap371 legislation here- of course this smokescreen has been proven to be, a smokescreen with massive increases in that industry’s receipts.

The funding of political parties under FCTC is frowned upon and where such funding exists the Government is required to ensure that such funding is revealed. When can we expect this to happen?

China (and thereby Hong Kong and Macau ) ratified the FCTC treaty in October 2005 – 13 years ago and numerous articles are not yet transposed into Hong Kong legislation.

The Treaty is a legal binding international instrument.

Neither has the Government yet adopted the FCTC requirement for all Government public officials /employees to declare and divest any and all tobacco stakeholdings; the MPFA allows its Trustees to invest in unethical shares whilst the MFPA own shareholdings have been divested of tobacco shareholdings. Regina Ip admitted on Legco TV to holding tobacco company shareholdings. Legco, Exco, members, District Councillors are confirmed by the ICAC to be public officials.

The FCTC directs parties to use tax preventive measures in excess of the inflation rate and other EFFECTIVE annual /regular tax increases on tobacco products to prevent youth initiation and to improve smoking cessation.

Increasing tax helps blue collar families – it does not punish them as certain legislators contend. Quitting leaves more money for the family food.

The local prevalence rate for males is higher than most western countries and overall prevalence is brought down by the ultra low female rate.

The last tax increase here was 2014, it was not effective and was too minimal hence tobacco remains affordable. As a result legal cigarette sales have INCREASED since then. (Source HK Customs)
Hong Kong is in breach of the FCTC requirements to implement all FCTC Articles into local law and prima facie in breach of Article 60 of the UN Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties.

Article 5.3 of the FCTC obligates Parties to “act to protect” their public health policies from the tobacco industry and other vested interests.

If Parties are working to advance the interests of the tobacco industry by allowing vested interests to deliberately hinder anti- tobacco legislation, they cannot be said to be protecting policies from the vested interests of the industry.



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