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May 1st, 2010:

CFA criticises wording of smoking law

mfile_56_664958_1Last updated: May 1, 2010

Source: Radio & Television Hong Kong

The Court of Final Appeal has criticised the wording of the law governing smoking, saying it is in places “puzzling”. However, the five judges did not call for the legislation to be changed. Rather, they clarified the meaning of the relevant provision.

The judges made the comments in their reasoning for making a judgement over-ruling a lower court decision that smoking inside a restaurant which is enclosed on three sides is not illegal.

The five judges considered the definition in the law that people cannot smoke inside an area which is at least up to 50 percent enclosed on each and every side. They ruled that in the light of context and purpose, there is no ambiguity in meaning – that for an area to be indoors, at least 50 percent of the total area of all sides must be enclosed – irrespective of how the enclosed area is distributed among the various sides.

Abolish duty-free concessions on tobacco products

tobacco_packaging_1Dear ALL,

The Financial Secretary, in his 2010-2011 Budget, proposed to abolish duty-free concessions on tobacco products for incoming passengers to Hong Kong as a means to further protect public health.

To implement the budget proposal, the Dutiable Commodities (Exempted Quantities) (Amendment) Notice 2010 was introduced. Under the proposal, all incoming passengers may carry up to 19 cigarettes, or one stick or 25 grammes of cigar (to cater for the varieties of packaging of cigars in the retail market, incoming passengers who have with them more than one cigar will be subject to a ceiling of 25 grammes), or 25 grammes of other manufactured tobacco products. Incoming passengers will be entitled to only any one kind of tobacco product. It is also proposed to remove the 24-hour rule on time spent outside Hong Kong for entitlement of the duty-free concessions on tobacco products that currently applies to Hong Kong identity card holders. This is to avoid frequent travellers between Hong Kong and the Mainland who may have in their possession small amounts of tobacco products for own consumption being caught for not making the necessary declaration in accordance with the law.

A subcommittee was formed to scrutinize the Notice.  It is now inviting public to submit opinions on this Notice by 4 May 2010 (next Tuesday). Being a tobacco control advocate, your support and input to this consultation would be much appreciated.

For details of the submission of views, please kindly visit the link

for further information.

Let’s join hands to support a smoke-free Hong Kong.