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2010 budget speech: Tobacco budget highlights

tobacco tax

Tobacco Control

133. For public health reasons, I increased tobacco duty substantially by 50 per cent last year. This year I propose to abolish the duty-free concessions on tobacco products for incoming passengers. To facilitate law enforcement, small amounts of tobacco products for own consumption will be exempted. The Food and Health Bureau and Customs and Excise Department will announce the details. This measure will take effect on completion of the legislative process.

134. Studies by the World Health Organization have clearly shown that increasing tobacco duty is an effective means of tobacco control. I am aware that tobacco duty in Hong Kong currently accounts for only about 60 per cent of the retail prices of cigarettes, some way below the 75 per cent recommended by the World Health Organization. The retail prices of cigarettes in Hong Kong are also lower than those in some international cities. The Food and Health Bureau will closely monitor the effectiveness of the various tobacco control measures in the year ahead. I will consider a phased increase in Hong Kong’s tobacco duty based on the Bureau’s recommendations.

Click here to read 2010 Budget: Clear The Air’s reply regarding the government’s plans for tobacco control.

What do you think about the government’s proposal? Voice your comments after the jump.

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