Business / Tobacco control

Hong Kong lifts tobacco duty by 41.5%

(Xinhua) Updated: 2011-02-23 16:34

HONG KONG - Smokers in Hong Kong will have to pay HK$0.5 more per stick, equivalent to an increase in tobacco duty by 41.5 percent, the city's top financial official John Tsang announced on Wednesday.

In his 2011-12 Budget speech, the Financial Secretary said studies by the World Health Organization have clearly shown increasing tobacco duty is an effective means of tobacco control.

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These adjustments took immediate effect by way of a Public Revenue Protection Order gazetted on Wednesday, Tsang said.

Customs officers will step up enforcement to contain cigarette smuggling, and the local government will also enhance smoking cessation services, he added.

Hong Kong increased the duty rates on various types of tobacco by 50 percent for public health reasons in 2009.

The city also adopted a new tobacco regulation as of Aug 1, 2010. According to the new rule, the incoming passengers are allowed to carry no more than 19 cigarettes.

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