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Letter from Clear The Air

SCMP 22 April, 2011

‘Lawmakers in cigarette duty revolt’ states that certain Legco members and parties are considering voting against the increase in tobacco tax in the latest Budget. Their reasoning is none other than for political gain with District Council elections in 2011 and Legco elections in 2012, they are seeking to attract blue collar votes by attempting to repeal this important preventative health measure. James To and Starry Lee already stated in a local English language  television interview they will vote against the tobacco tax. Tobacco tax increases are targeted at preventing children from becoming addicted for life to nicotine by way of lack of affordability; nicotine is more addictive than heroin or cocaine. Unlike alcohol or other self abuse lifestyle choices, tobacco smoke kills innocent bystanders. The paid tobacco soldiers state that smoking is an adult choice, but how can being a nicotine addict be deemed choice ?  The number of non smoking voters in Hong Kong far exceeds the smoking voters and we would urge these voters to place their votes with those politicians who are working in the interests and health of Hong Kong people and their children rather than those working on behalf of the tobacco companies. Seven thousand people die each year in Hong Kong because of illnesses associated with tobacco use and of those 1,324 (HKU study) die as a result of  illnesses related to passive smoking. Hong Kong does not need self serving lawmakers but those who will represent the health and welfare of the people. Recently a lobby group seemingly paid for its actions named Momentum 107 has been opposing the tobacco tax increase; its leader Raymond Ho Man Kit a Saikung District Councillor was reported in SCMP last week to have testified under immunity against his accomplices , former district councillors in an ICAC case, who were all jailed.  Tobacco disproportionately affects the less well off in society, their overall family income and wellbeing and instead of pushing Government for additional funded resources to remove their addiction these shameful lawmakers are working hand in hand with Big Tobacco; voters can prevent this and consign them to the political wilderness in the interests of our children and future generations.

James Middleton


tel 26930136

address on above webpage

  • Nicotine is:
    • 1000 X more potent than alcohol
    • 10-100 X more potent than barbiturates
    • 5-10 X more potent than cocaine or morphine
  • A 1-2 pack per day smoker takes 200-400 hits daily for years. This constant intake of a fast acting drug (which affects mood, concentration & performance).. eventually produces dependence.

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