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China’s Health Minister proposed increasing cigarettes tax

Clear the Air says: it’s a shame that the Hong Kong Health Minister did not do the same thing – there was no tobacco tax increase in the February 1st Hong Kong budget and 16 days later Donald Tsang, HK’s CE was spotted according to the press

on a  tobacco tycoon’s yacht in Macau.

China’s Health Minister Chen Zhu in a March 2010 file photo. REUTERS

BEIJING (March 10, 2012): China plans to increase taxes on mid-end and low-end cigarettes to discourage expanding cigarette consumption in the country, said China’s Health Minister Chen Zhu.

He said the tax hike targeting high-end cigarettes in 2009 had not met the country’s target to control cigarette consumption.

“We notice that most of the growing proportion of smokers are young adults, who consume low-end cigarettes and are sensitive to prices. As such, I’m confident that the tax hike will effectively help reduce the number of smokers without affecting fiscal revenue,” Chen said on the sidelines of the plenary session of the ongoing National People’s Congress.

Chen said the Ministry of Health needed to enlist local authorities’ support for more stringent enforcement on smoking.

China, the world’s biggest tobacco producer and consumer, currently has 350 million smokers and more than one million people die of smoking-related diseases every year, official statistics showed. — Bernama

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