With tobacco shops and cigarette shops shutting down in Hong, a new market has opened up in the city, according to the latest trade figures released by the Hong Kong Trade Bureau.
While cigarette sales have been on the decline for some time, the latest figures from the bureau show that a new “cigarette shop” has opened in the Kowloon district of the city.
The Kowloons cigarette shop opened in October this year and is one of a number of new tobacco shops set up across the city by retailers to meet growing demand from Hong Kong’s burgeoning cigarette market.
The tobacco shop’s manager, who asked not to be named, told the AFP that he was not sure when the shop would reopen.
“The tobacco shops are not here yet, but we are working on it,” he said.
The shop, which is operated by the Tobacco Hong Kong group, offers a variety of cigarettes, including black and white varieties.
The Hong Kong government has announced that a cigarette ban will go into effect from November 1.
“We want to give customers peace of mind, but also make sure the tobacco shop is not operating illegally,” the Tobacco HK group said in a statement.
Hong Kong is currently a major cigarette market in the world with a total of 4.6 million tonnes of cigarettes shipped to mainland China, according the Hong, Macau and Taiwan governments.
In January, the HongKong tobacco market registered its biggest annual drop since 2011, with just 5.8 million tonnes, or 6.7 percent of the market, according TOI data.
In a bid to curb smoking, the government introduced a five-point plan aimed at reducing smoking by 2030, including a five percent cut in sales tax and a two percent cut on tobacco products.
The plan also calls for the introduction of a ban on indoor smoking and public smoking.