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Hong Kong Tobacco Tax

In Hong Kong the low tobacco tax and smoking exemptions in 2007 saw a 29.5% increase in cigarette sales above 2006 pre smoking ‘ban’ sales as opposed to UK which has high tobacco tax and a comprehensive smoking ban.

The HK Financial Secretary chose not to increase tobacco tax, a proven method of preventing youth smoking, since 1999.

Cigarette sales drop 4% following smoking ban – The Daily Mail
February 27, 2008

A drop in cigarette sales prompted by England’s smoking ban gathered pace at the end of last year, latest figures show.

Smokers in Britain bought 47 billion cigarettes in the past 12 months – a year-on-year dip of nearly four per cent, according to market analysts Nielsen.

The drop became more acute in the last three months of 2007 with a year-on-year drop of 6.7 per cent. This compared to a sales decline of just 0.1 per cent year-on-year during the six months before the ban came into force in England, according to Nielsen data for The Grocer.

Smokers spent more money on cigarettes in 2007 than they did the previous year but this was mainly due to higher taxes, the trade magazine says.

A Nielsen spokesman told The Grocer: “Value growth was driven by price and duty increases, while volume sales reflect a market that is coming to terms with an unprecedented year; legislation and the poor summer took sales out of the market.”

The true impact of the smoking ban will not become apparent for another few months because sales temporarily lifted over the Christmas period, the spokesman said.

He added: “2008 looks to be a further difficult year for the tobacco industry with the full effects of the smoking ban realised, the forthcoming pictorial health warnings and restriction on selling tobacco to those aged under 18.”

The smoking ban came into force in Wales on April 1, 2007 and in England on July 1, 2007. A ban came into force in Scotland in 2006.

Nielsen’s data on cigarette sales in the year to January 26, 2008 comes from its Scantrack survey of till sales representing 74,000 outlets around Britain.

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