Transcript of remarks on outcome of public consultation on tobacco control strategies and way forward by S for Health at media session


     Following is the transcript of remarks by the Secretary for Health, Professor Lo Chung-mau, on the outcome of public consultation on tobacco control strategies and the way forward at a media session after attending a radio programme this morning (June 9):
Reporter: A retail sector lawmaker said he is worried that the ban on flavoured cigarettes may stop tourists from coming to Hong Kong. Newspaper vendors also said they are worried that it might affect businesses. How would you respond to these concerns? Also, is there a risk of visitors being caught out by not knowing about the law?
Secretary for Health: I would categorically say that this would not affect visitors, tourists and business people coming to Hong Kong. First of all, taking the example of Singapore, Singapore has stricter measures on anti-smoking which do not really affect the tourists and visitors going to Singapore. The other thing is that, if you look at the overall percentage of smokers and non-smokers, there are far more non-smokers than smokers. People come to Hong Kong not for smoking. They come to Hong Kong for business opportunities, for our food, for all of the tourist attractions. They love to have a refreshing, lively, healthy city, rather than a city full of smoke and cigarette butts on the floor. I would categorically say that this is not an issue.
     For those newspaper vendors, I understand that this is part of their businesses, but they have other areas of businesses. Some of these people are talking about illicit cigarettes or “cheap whites”. I guess that these are illegal activities, and these vendors should not be performing such businesses.
(Please also refer to the Chinese portion of the transcript.)