Top Menu

News Update

Open Letter to Financial Secretary, Hong Kong SAR Government Raising Tobacco Tax by 100%
Hong Kong Council on Smoking and Health (“COSH”), together with 66 organizations*, sent an open letter to the Financial Secretary to urge the Government to raise tobacco tax by 100% in FY2018-19 and formulate a long-term policy on tobacco tax to lower the smoking prevalence to single digit percentage and achieve tobacco endgame in 2027. Mr Antonio KWONG, Chairman of COSH said, “Tobacco tax in Hong Kong has been frozen for three consecutive years and was raised for only five times in the past two decades, causing cigarette price to lag behind the increase of inflation and per capita income. The Government should raise tobacco tax substantially to motivate smokers to quit and prevent youth from picking up the smoking habit.”

According to COSH’s Tobacco Control Policy-related Survey 2017, 80.7% of all respondents supported raising tobacco tax in 2018, while 31.1% of the current smokers also supported this measure. Current smokers suggested that the cigarette retail price should be set at an average price of HK$293 per pack (current retail price is HK$57) to effectively motivate them to quit. Given the big room for cigarette price increase, the Government should substantially increase tobacco tax in order to maintain the price effect in reducing the demand of tobacco and protect public health.

COSH strongly urges the Government to strengthen its tobacco control policy and formulate a long-term plan to further lower the smoking prevalence and achieve a smoke-free Hong Kong, including tobacco tax increase, implementation of plain packaging, tobacco product display ban at points of sale, extension of smoke-free areas, placing legal onus on venue managers who should be liable for smoking offences, increasing the legal tobacco sales age and the total ban on e-cigarettes, regulation of emerging tobacco products, tightened enforcement, as well as allocation of more resources for smoking cessation services and smoke-free education, etc.

Click here to read the open letter
* An updated open letter with 71 organizations was sent on 6 February 2018. Click here for the updated open letter
Back to Top