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Macau government deals double blow to smokers

In a bid to take a more responsible stance in curbing smoking, the Macau government has applied a higher tax on tobacco products and restricted the number of duty-free cigarettes allowed into the city, both measures effective July 14.

The government has increased the tax on tobacco products to more than 70 percent of their retail price. The Official Gazette says the tax on each cigarette is now MOP1.50 ($0.19).

The New Regime of Tobacco Prevention and Control, which follows the legislature's approval on July 9 of the amendment bill on consumption tax, will also see passengers entering Macau limited to bring in 19 cigarettes, or 1 cigar or 25 grams of other manufactured tobacco, for one’s personal consumption.

“This is.. to prevent importation of dutiable tobacco, especially following the increase of cigarette tax,” the government announced.

The government says the measures are in line with the suggestions from the World Health Organization.

“The Macao Customs Services and the Economic Services would act closely to stop any unlawful trade of tobacco in Macao.”

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