Australia rolls out world's first plain cigarette pack law

An employee in a bookshop in Australia adjusts packaged cigarettes which have to be sold in identical olive-brown packets. Photo: AFP

A law forcing tobacco firms to sell cigarettes in plain packets came into effect in Australia yesterday in an effort to strip any glamour from smoking and prevent young people from taking up the habit.

Sunday, 2 December, 2012, 4:55am

Academy asks tobacco scientist to leave

One of the country's most prestigious academic bodies, the Chinese Academy of Engineering, has asked one of its members to quit because he specialises in refining low-tar cigarettes. The request came after an orchestrated campaign opposing his membership, and ahead of today's World No Tobacco Day.

31 May 2012 - 12:00am

Customs hunts 300 buyers of smuggled cigarettes

Customs officers are trying to trace more than 300 buyers who placed phone orders for contraband cigarettes, after a series of raids on illicit tobacco operations.

Officers found three ledgers during the raids that were believed to contain the buyers' telephone numbers and order details - but the entries were represented by nicknames and abbreviations.

12 May 2012 - 12:00am

Number of hard-core addicts rises

The successful implementation of smoke-free legislation in Hong Kong has led to an overall decrease in the total number of smokers. But the remaining smokers who are finding it difficult to quit are going on to become 'hard-core' smokers, according to a new study from Chinese University.

24 Apr 2012 - 12:00am

Season for the gifts that keep on giving

Take a walk in the streets outside a Beijing residential community and you will very likely run into cigarette and liquor shops decorated with advertisements reading 'high prices offered for branded cigarettes and liquor'.

4 Apr 2012 - 12:00am

There is no excuse for smoking

Smokers should think about how they affect other people. More than 53,000 people die of second-hand smoke every year. Smoking outdoors is no better. You are just polluting the lungs of people you do not know.

27 Jan 2012 - 12:00am

HK$29m of illicit tobacco seized in Christmas post

More than 10 tonnes of illicit tobacco destined for Britain has been confiscated in Hong Kong in the past five weeks, prompting customs officials to step up co-operation with British and mainland authorities to stop the illegal trade.

10 Jan 2012 - 12:00am

It's all smoke and mirrors

I used to smoke so much that a friend actually came up with a joke about my habit. 'If you're trying to find Sasha in a crowded room,' she said, 'just look for a cloud of cigarette smoke, and there she'll be, standing right under it.' A cloud sounds like an exaggeration, but that's how heavy a smoker I was.

13 Dec 2011 - 12:00am

Anger as tobacco expert is honoured

More than 50 scientists joined the prestigious Chinese Academy of Engineering yesterday, with one new member coming in for criticism for his work on low-tar cigarettes.

10 Dec 2011 - 12:00am

Leaving us fuming

Causeway Bay has to be the most unhealthy place in Hong Kong. Come out of an MTR station, or step out of a taxi or bus, and the first thing you notice are the clouds of cigarette smoke.

2 Oct 2011 - 12:00am

HK on track to becoming first smoke-free city

The dwindling number of smokers in Hong Kong is setting the city on course to become the rich world's first 'smoke-free' city.

25 Sep 2011 - 12:00am

Tourists don't get smoking message

Of all the statistics that should make us feel good, those showing that Hong Kong's smoking rate has fallen to the lowest-ever level are the ones most likely to put an extra spring in our step. The Census and Statistics Department's latest figures reveal that 11.1 per cent of people aged 15 and over and 19.9 per cent of men smoke, among the lowest levels for developed economies.

29 Aug 2011 - 12:00am

Lawmakers approve tobacco tax increase

In a vote hailed for helping Hong Kong shake the smoking habit, a divided Legislative Council has approved the controversial 41.5 per cent tobacco tax rise.

16 Jun 2011 - 12:00am

Tobacco tax hits inmates in hip pocket

For prisoners the rise in the cigarette tax has meant an effective pay cut.

Their wages rise and fall in line with the prices of food and other necessities, including cigarettes.

But in February last year the government decided cigarettes should be taken out of the calculation in an effort to deter smoking in jail.

15 Jun 2011 - 12:00am

Illegal-smokes trade flourishing

The number of gangs selling illegal cigarettes in the public housing estates of Tin Shui Wai, a poor suburb, has trebled this year, and citywide seizures of contraband cigarettes have soared, customs officials said.

14 Jun 2011 - 12:00am