Hong Kong Government Proposes Significant Increase in Tobacco Taxes

Regulations by 2FIRSTS
Feb.28
Hong Kong Government Proposes Significant Increase in Tobacco Taxes
Hong Kong proposes immediate tax hike on cigarettes in 2024-25 budget, aiming to reduce tobacco use effectively.

According to a report by RTHK on February 28, Financial Secretary of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, Paul Chan Mo-po, stated in the "2024-25 Budget" that the government proposes an immediate increase of 0.8 HK dollars in tax on each pack of cigarettes, and a proportional increase in the tax rate of other tobacco products, with the same magnitude as last year.

Hong Kong Government Proposes Significant Increase in Tobacco Taxes
Original text of the budget bill | Source: Financial Secretary of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region

 

Sources say that this year, the tobacco tax has increased by 31.92%. Calculated based on a pack of 20 cigarettes, the average retail price per pack is 93.68 Hong Kong dollars, with 66.12 Hong Kong dollars being the tax.

 

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Secretary for Food and Health Chen Maobo believes that increasing tobacco taxes is an internationally recognized measure to effectively reduce tobacco use. It is expected that the proportion of tobacco tax to the retail price of cigarettes will increase to about 70%, gradually moving towards the World Health Organization's recommended level of 75%, to strengthen smoking cessation incentives and protect public health. It is worth noting that this year marks the second consecutive year of tobacco tax increases, with a planned 30% increase in 2023. At that time, it was suggested to immediately raise the tobacco tax on each cigarette by 0.6 Hong Kong dollars.

 

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