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November 13th, 2009:

Book about Secondhand Smoking

Secondhand smoke cause many diseases. The Institute of Medicine of The National Academies had published a book about how secondhand smoke affect health. Here is the summary from the book:


Secondhand smoke, also known as environmental tobacco smoke, is a complex mixture made up of particles and gases and includes smoke from burning cigarettes, cigars, and pipe tobacco (sidestream smoke) and exhaled mainstream smoke. This includes aged smoke that lingers after smoking ceases. Data suggest that exposure to secondhand smoke can result in heart disease in nonsmoking adults. Progress has been made recently in reducing involuntary exposure to secondhand smoke in workplaces, restaurants, and other public places in the United States and abroad, often through legislation that bans smoking. The effect of legislation to ban smoking in public places and workplaces on cardiovascular health of nonsmoking adults, however, remains a question.

You can download the book here:

Secondhand Smoke Exposure and Cardiovascular Effects: Making Sense of the Evidence

Tobacco tax in Hong Kong compare with other places in the world

Tobacco tax in Hong Kong is now HK$ 24 (£1.86) per pack of 20 cigarettes representing approximately 64% of average local pack retail price of around HK$ 37.

Hong Kong is a first world country. If we compare Ireland’s tax on cigarettes (HK$ 79.6) and average pack retail price (HK$100.4) it shows clearly how far behind the developed world Hong Kong is, tobacco control wise. Our tobacco tax / retail price tax incidence ratio is even lower than Lithuania. Of course in western nations as well as tobacco tax they also have other sales taxes / VAT on top of retail tobacco prices.

· The WHO and World bank data shows that for every tobacco tax increase of 10% there is a corresponding decrease in duty paid sales of at least 4%. After the 50% tax rise in Hong Kong in February 2009, the local duty paid sales of cigarettes has dropped (as of this month ) by almost 23%, thus confirming the WHO and World Bank data.

· (Pound/HK$ rate 12.9)

· The Financial Secretary must heed his words of February 2009 and for ‘public health reasons’ he must continue to increase tobacco tax to prevent our youth from being able to start on the death road , to alleviate the costs on public health treatment of tobacco related diseases and for the well being of the community. It is time to match the 1st world tobacco taxation levels and save lives.

James Middleton

Chairman anti tobacco committee

The following PDF shown the comparison of tobacco taxation imposed on different countries: