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New laws can curb smoking

cigarette_butt_tight_cropLast updated: May 3, 2010

Source: South China Morning Post

Our neighbours Down Under took a bold step forward regarding tobacco control last week.

The Australian government announced that starting on July 1, 2012, all tobacco companies will be forced to use plain packaging.

At the same time, the tax on cigarettes rose another 25 per cent from midnight, April 29.

This new legislation is an impressive step forward in helping to cut tobacco consumption and curb tobacco-related deaths.

The Australian government believes that the changes will cut the country’s tobacco consumption by 6 per cent. Here in Hong Kong, we appeal to the SAR government to follow suit. Lung cancer directly attributable to smoking still ranks as the leading form of cancer in Hong Kong, with more than 3,600 related deaths recorded every year. As increasing criticism surrounds Hong Kong concerning rising air pollution, this is a window of opportunity to do something positive in safeguarding the health of Hong Kong people.

By taking more drastic measures like the ones announced in Australia last week, we can work towards reducing tobacco deaths and further minimise the burden of cancer in our community.

Sally Lo, founder and chief executive, Hong Kong Cancer Fund

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