An anti-smoking group, together with several academics and healthcare professionals, has called on the government to raise cigarette prices up to around HK$100 a packet.
The Council on Smoking and Health also wants the government to raise the legal smoking age to 21, and to increase the tax on tobacco significantly in the next financial year.
The group expressed hope on Tuesday that these moves will gradually reduce the smoking population from the current 10 percent to 5 percent by 2027.
It said its demands are supported by a survey it carried out between September 2018 and March last year.
In this poll, almost 80 percent of 2,000 respondents supported an increase in tobacco tax in the next financial year, while close to 70 percent also backed an annual increase.
Tax on tobacco products hasn’t been increased for five consecutive years now. Currently, the tax makes up around 65 percent of the retail price of a packet of cigarettes, currently around HK$60.
The World Health Organisation recommends a 75 percent tax on cigarettes.