MACAO, April 30 (Xinhua) -- The government of Macao Special Administrative Region (SAR) Thursday announced that it has drawn up a bill proposing to increase the duty on cigarettes from 0.05 pataca (0.006 U.S. dollar) to 0.2 pataca (0.025 dollar) per stick, which is an increment of 300 percent.
It was also proposed in the bill that duty on tobacco and cigars be raised respectively from 20 patacas (2.5 dollar) to 80 patacas (10 dollar) per kilogram and from 70 patacas (8.9 dollar) to 280 patacas (35.4 dollar).
The bill has been discussed by the SAR's Executive Council, and will be submitted to the Legislative Assembly for review and a vote on it through emergency procedure, according to a press release from the SAR government's Information Bureau.
Similar move has already been taken by Hong Kong SAR government, which announced an increase of tobacco duty by 50 percent in February, with the aim to curb smoking-related diseases such as lung cancer.
Macao's tobacco duty rate is significantly lower than its neighboring regions and has not been revised for a relatively longtime, said Tong Chi Kin, a spokesperson of the SAR's Executive Council.
Tong said people in Macao are well aware that smoking can be harmful to one's health, and have called for tobacco control and an increase in tobacco tax rate.