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Agencies reserved about proposal to cut duty-free cigarettes

Agencies reserved about proposal to cut duty-free cigarettes

Taipei, Aug. 3 (CNA) Government agencies expressed reservations Monday toward a proposal by experts that the government should eliminate sales of duty-free cigarettes at airports.
Chiou Shu-ti, director-general of the Health Promotion Administration (HPA) under the Ministry of Health and Welfare, said the HPA respects the proposal but it will need further discussion among the relevant agencies before law amendments can be made and put into practice.
"The next meeting for cross-agency discussion is slated for December," she said.
Experts attending a recent cross-agency meeting on the prevention of tobacco hazards called by the Executive Yuan proposed that the government should ban passengers from bringing in duty-free cigarettes or cut the current permitted level of 200 cigarettes to 19.
Singapore currently bans the sale of cigarettes at its airports, while Hong Kong and Macau allow passengers to bring in only 19 in opened packs.
John Tung Foundation CEO Yau Sea-wain contended that price hikes are the best way to protect the public from tobacco hazards. Allowing airports to sell cigarettes at bargain prices only cuts the cost for smokers, he said.
Meanwhile, Hsieh Chih-dong, a section chief of the National Treasury Administration under the Finance Ministry, said that in compliance with international norms, no changes will be made for now to the current regulations, which allow passengers to bring in a carton of cigarettes and a liter of alcohol. (By P.N. Lung and Flor Wang)


Updated : 2021-09-25 17:29 GMT+08:00