• April 18, 2024

Hong Kong to Push Pack Price Above HKD90

 Hong Kong to Push Pack Price Above HKD90
Photo: Heorshe

Hong Kong will hike the duty on cigarettes by HKD0.80 ($0.10) per stick, pushing the price of a pack of 20 cigarettes to HKD94, reports The Standard. The duty on other tobacco products will be increased by the same proportion.

Currently, a pack of cigarettes costs HKD78 after a 25.8 percent increase last year.

Finance Minister Paul Chan Mo-po expects the proportion of tobacco duty in the retail price of cigarettes to rise to about 70 percent, gradually approaching the 75 percent level recommended by the World Health Organization.

Chan believes this will provide the public with a greater incentive to quit smoking. He said the government will step up enforcement against illicit cigarette trading and strengthen smoking cessation services, publicity and education.

The Coalition on Tobacco Affairs expressed regret over the government’s decision to increase tobacco taxes without disclosing how last year’s price hike impacted the prevalence of smoking.

The coalition said the prior-year increase had exacerbated illicit cigarette activities with customs seizing a record-high 650 million cigarettes in 2023.

“This indicates how syndicates take advantage of Hong Kong’s high tobacco tax policy to control the sale of illicit cigarettes with the aim to provide funding to other criminal activities,” the coalition said in a statement.