28 Oct 2009
The Tobacco Control Office (TCO) of the Department of Health reminded licensed newspaper hawkers that the exemption for display of tobacco advertisements at their stalls would be revoked on November 1, 2009.
"There will be no exemption from the tobacco advertising ban thereafter," a spokesman said.
Under the Smoking (Public Health) Ordinance, no person shall display, publish, distribute, broadcast, exhibit by film or place on the Internet any tobacco advertisement.
Offenders are liable, on conviction, to a fine of up to $50,000 and in case of a continuing offence, to a further penalty of $1,500 for each day the offence continues.
"We have written to all licensed newspaper hawkers and their trade associations to remind them of the repeal of exemption, and to remove all tobacco advertisements before November 1," the spokesman said.
The spokesman called for the co-operation of licensed newspaper hawkers to enable the smooth implementation of the ordinance.
To increase awareness of all licensed newspaper hawkers and the public of the revocation of exemption, the TCO has mounted a publicity programme comprising radio announcement, advertisement via internet and pamphlet distribution to licensed newspaper hawkers during inspections.
Up until September this year, the TCO has received 29 complaints about tobacco advertisements and took enforcement actions against eight cases of illegal advertising. Some of the 2009 complaints are still under investigation.