Hong Kong Plans to Ban Smokeless Tobacco
HONG KONG (AP) _ Hong Kong plans to ban smokeless tobacco following a confirmation from the World Health Organization that it could cause cancer, a government spokesman said Friday.
The spokesman, who declined to be identified by name in line with official practice, said the organization reported that the smokeless tobacco could lead to cancer of the mouth and upper respiratory tract.
Smokeless tobacco is chewed or sucked.
The government will publish a bill next Friday aimed at banning smokeless tobacco and the bill will be tabled before the law-making Legislative Council Oct. 29, the spokesman said.
He said orally taken smokeless tobacco products had been marketed in recent years and had found considerable appeal among children and young people.
He said prompt action was taken to prevent the spread of the relatively new tobacco product in Hong Kong. But he did not give any sales figures.
″In the interest of protecting public health, the government has an obligation to take preventive steps,″ he explained.