Milestones

3-application
1982

Implementation of the Smoking (Public Health) Ordinance

Smoking (Public Health) Ordinance (Cap.371) was first enacted in 1982. Several amendments were made subsequently to further strengthen tobacco control and safeguard the public health in Hong Kong.

 

The ordinance covers:

  • Prohibition of smoking in public places;
  • Restriction on sales of tobacco products; and
  • Restriction on tobacco promotion and advertising.

Full text of Smoking (Public Health) Ordinance (Cap.371)

Self Photos / Files - CAM_8469

 

First implementation of health warnings on all tobacco advertisement

 

First Survey on Smoking Pattern

 

1983

Health warnings

Text health warnings required on all cigarette packs in English and Chinese.

 

First designation of no smoking areas

  • Public lifts; and
  • Lower deck of public transport land vehicles.

Self Photos / Files - Transport_2_R1

 

Tobacco tax increased by 300%

The smoking prevalence dropped drastically from 23.3% in 1982 to 18.7% in 1984.

1987

Establishment of Hong Kong Council on Smoking and Health

Hong Kong Council on Smoking and Health was established in 1987. It is a statutory body vested with functions, as set out in the “Hong Kong Council on Smoking and Health Ordinance” (Cap.389) to protect and improve the health of the community by:

 

  • informing and educating the public on smoking and health matters;
  • conducting and coordinating research into the cause, prevention and cure of tobacco dependence;
  • advising the Government, community health organizations or any public body on matters relating to smoking and health.

Full Text of 《Hong Kong Council on Smoking and Health Ordinance》

 Self Photos / Files - Cosh4c-jpeg

 

Voice-over health warning for television and cinema

Written health warning was required throughout the cigarettes advertisements for television and cinema. Standardized voice-over health warning was also a must at the end of such advertisements lasting no less than 3 seconds.

1988

Restrictions on the airtime of tobacco advertisement on TV

Ban on cigarette advertising and sponsorship from 4:00pm to 10:30pm on TV.

1989

Restrictions on the airtime of tobacco advertisement on radio

Ban on cigarette advertising and sponsorship from 4:00pm to 10:30pm on radio.

1990

Total ban on cigarette advertising and sponsorship on TV and radio

1992

Expansion of statutory no smoking area

  • Smoking bans implemented in cinemas, theatres, concert halls, amusement game centres and all transport carriers.

Self Photos / Files - Cinema_R1

 

Ban on cigarette advertising broadcasting in cinemas

1993

Restriction on tar yield

Prohibited the sale of cigarette with a tar content exceeding 20mg.

1994

Stronger and more precise health warnings

Introduction of four rotational textual health warnings:

  • “Smoking can kill”;
  • “Smoking can cause cancer”;
  • “Smoking harms yourself and others”; and
  • “Smoking can cause heart disease”.

Self Photos / Files - pack_1994

 

Health warning to be more conspicuously displayed in tobacco advertisement

Cigarette advertisements for display on print media, signs and billboards, when first put up or changed by more than 25%, must bear the health warning which must take up at least 20% of the space of the advertisement.

 

Regulation of sales of tobacco products

Prohibition of sale or giving tobacco products to people under age 18.

1998

Expansion of statutory no smoking areas

  • All indoor areas open to the public in a supermarket, bank, department store or shopping mall were designated as no smoking areas;
  • Airport Authority might designate any area of the passenger terminal complex of the Airport as no smoking area; and
  • All restaurants, schools, post-secondary colleges, technical colleges could designate any area as no smoking area.

Self Photos / Files - 1-photo-6

 

Prohibition of tobacco advertisement on the internet

 

Regulation of sales of tobacco products

Selling of any tobacco product from a vending machine was prohibited. 

Promoting the sale of tobacco products by means of offering prizes, gifts, tokens or raffles in exchange for any valuable items was prohibited.

 

1999

Stronger restrictions on tar yield of cigarette

Restriction of maximum tar yields in cigarettes was lowered to 17mg.

 

Designation of statutory no smoking area in restaurants

Restaurants with more than 200 seats were required to have not less than 1/3 no smoking areas.

 

Stronger restrictions on tobacco advertising

  • Ban on tobacco display advertisements; and
  • Prohibition of all tobacco advertisements in the print media.

Self Photos / Files - E_1999_r2

2000

Reinforcement of health warnings

Cigarette packs must carry, in rotation, 6 new text health warnings with the indication of tar and nicotine yields. Health warning must be on top of pack, with black lettering on white background:

  • “Smoking kills”;
  • “Smoking causes cancer”;
  • “Smoking causes heart disease”;
  • “Smoking causes lung cancer”;
  • “Smoking causes respiratory diseases”; and
  • “Smoking harms your children”.
2001

Establishment of Tobacco Control Office, Department of Health

Functions are as follows:

  • To act as a principal enforcement agency under the Smoking (Public Health) Ordinance (Cap. 371);
  • To assist venue manager of statutory no smoking areas in ensuring public compliance to the Smoking (Public Health) Ordinance (Cap. 371);
  • To promote smoke-free culture and enhance compliance to the Smoking (Public Health) Ordinance (Cap. 371) through publicity and health education;
  • To coordinate the smoking cessation service of the Department of Health; and
  • To assist the Food and Health Bureau in reviewing tobacco control legislation.

Self Photos / Files - 1. Tobacco Control Office_1

2005

Application of Framework Convention on Tobacco Control

China ratified the World Health Organization’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC). FCTC came into effect in China and its application extended to Hong Kong.

2006

Amendment of Smoking (Public Health) Ordinance

Smoking (Public Health) (Amendment) Bill 2006 was passed by the Legislative Council to enact total smoking ban in all indoor public places.

2007

Expansion of statutory no smoking area

Smoking ban implemented at all indoor workplaces and many public places:

  • Indoor areas of all restaurant premises;
  • Indoor workplaces;
  • Indoor public places;
  • Karaoke establishments;
  • Markets;
  • Child care centres, schools, post secondary colleges and universities;
  • Hospitals, residential care homes, treatment centres, and any communal quarters;
  • Public pleasure grounds, bathing beaches and the vicinities including adjacent barbeque areas, as well as public swimming pools; and
  • Escalators, etc.

Self Photos / Files - poster_indoorareas

(Chinese version only) 

 

Pictorial health warnings

Packets of tobacco products and retail containers shall bear six pictorial health warnings by rotation, tar and nicotine yields in the prescribed form and manner. The pictorial health warnings shall be of a size that covers at least 50% of the surface area of the packet or the retail container.

Self Photos / Files - cigarette packs

 

Stronger restrictions on tobacco advertising

Withdrawal of the exemption for display of tobacco advertisement for retailers with two or fewer employees.

2009

Expansion of statutory no smoking area

The complete smoking ban extended to the six types of establishment with effect from 1 July 2009, including:

  • Bars;
  • Clubs;
  • Nightclubs;
  • Bathhouses;
  • Massage establishments; and
  • Mahjong-tin kau premises.

Self Photos / Files - Bathhouse

 

Stronger restrictions on tobacco advertising

Withdrawal of exemption for display of tobacco advertisement at licensed hawker stalls.

 

Tobacco tax increased by 50%

The overall smoking prevalence dropped from 12% in 2009 to 10.7% in 2012.

Self Photos / Files - 2009 Support Tobacco Tax Parade (2)

2011

Tobacco tax increased by 41.5%

The number of calls to the smoking cessation hotline of the Department of Health increased by around 50% as compared with the previous year.

Self Photos / Files - 2011 Green Ribbon Action (5)

 

2010

Provision of Smoking Cessation Services

Department of Health collaborated with different organizations to provide of smoking cessation services/ programmes.

 

Abolishment of duty-free concessions

  • Abolished the duty-free concessions on three packs of tobacco products for incoming passengers at border entry.
  • Smokers aged 18 or above were allowed to bring the following exempted amount for own consumption:

  - 19 cigarettes; or

  - 1 cigar or 25 grams of cigars; or

  - 25 grams of other manufactured tobacco

2015

Strengthening tobacco control measures

The Government proposed to strengthen the tobacco control measures, including enlarging the size of pictorial health warnings to at least 85% of the cigarette pack area, total ban of e-cigarettes and smoking ban at eight bus interchanges located within the tunnel portal areas.

Self Photos / Files - 85% packaging

2014

Tobacco tax increased by 11.8%

2017

Enlargement of pictorial health warnings

The amendment was passed by the Legislative Council to enlarge the size of pictorial health warnings from 50% to 85% of the cigarette pack area and increase the number of forms of health warning from six to twelve. The measure will come into full operation from 21 June 2018.

2016

Expansion of statutory no smoking area

Smoking ban at eight bus interchange at tunnel portal areas, including:

  • Lion Rock Tunnel Bus Interchange;
  • Cross-Harbour Tunnel Bus Interchange;
  • Eastern Harbour Crossing Bus Interchange;
  • Shing Mun Tunnels Bus Interchange;
  • Tate's Cairn Tunnel Bus Interchange;
  • Western Harbour Crossing Bus Interchange;
  • Tai Lam Tunnel Bus Interchange; and
  • Tsing Sha Highway Bus Interchange.

Self Photos / Files - P54