Tobacco Control Concern Group (TCCG)

This page was last edited on at


In 2009, several retail groups and tobacco companies operating in Hong Kong came together to establish the Tobacco Control Concern Group (TCCG).123

TCCG has lobbied the government on tobacco control issues, and has echoed well known industry arguments against taxation, including that increased tax fuels illicit tobacco trade.41

TCCG retail association members include the Coalition of Hong Kong Newspaper and Magazine Merchants.3

Relationship with the tobacco industry

Tobacco companies reported to be part of TCCG include British American Tobacco, Philip Morris International, Hong Kong Federation of Tobacco Industries Limited, and Pacific Cigar Company.3

Lobbying against tobacco tax increases

In 2009, TCCG lobbied the government to lower tobacco taxes, claiming that recent tax increases had failed to stop people from smoking and instead promoted the sale of illicit cigarettes, causing a drop in tobacco business.1 However, a customs spokesperson noted that cigarette seizures had dropped, and there was no evidence of a growing trend in the sales of illicit cigarettes.1 The tobacco industry often uses the argument that increases in tobacco tax will result in an increase in illicit trade.

In 2011, it was reported that TCCG had urged the government to reduce cigarette tax to a “more reasonable level”, stating that “Raising cigarette taxes has been proved to be an ineffective way to help people to quit smoking” and again citing a supposed risk of illicit trade.41

TCCG also submitted a document to the legislative council on this issue.2 This stated that an independent survey had found that the public “strongly opposed the raising of tobacco tax”[translation],2 and again repeated the argument that tax increases would not prevent youth smoking, and instead would lead to increases smuggling:

“it is unpractical to push them to give up smoking by substantially raising tobacco tax…poorer students will smoke illicit cigarettes”[translation].2

Research has shown that smoking rates in Hong Kong declined between 2009 and 2011, after tobacco tax increases in 2009.5 Other research has shown that the industry inflated its estimates of the level of the illicit cigarette trade in Hong Kong.5

TCCG presence on the Legislative Council Health Panel

In October 2015, Clear the Air, a tobacco control advocacy group in Hong Kong, highlighted that two TCCG consultants were sitting on the Health Panel of the Legislative Council. In a letter to the panel, Clear the Air questioned why this was permitted, given TCCG’s connection to the tobacco industry.3

Earlier that year in May 2015, those consultants had urged the Government to consult with the tobacco industry regarding a proposal to introduce new tobacco control measures, including an increase in the size of graphic health warnings on cigarette packaging, and suggested extending the ‘grace period’ for new package design.36

Tobacco Tactics Resources

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


  1. abcdeCustoms dismisses claim by tobacco firms, retailers, that tax fuels sale of illicit smokes, South China Morning Post, 12 November 2009, accessed February 2023
  2. abcdTCCG, Submission to the Legislative Council: Dutiable Commodities (2011) Ordinance, Industry’s Views on Raising Tobacco Tax For Consideration of LegCo Members[translation], CB(1)2207/10-11(01), 16 May 2011, archived July 2023
  3. abcdeClear the Air, Letter to the Legislative Council Panel on Health Services, 24 October 2015, archived October 2020, accessed February 2023
  4. abM.Fei, Cigarettes kill one in every three elderly smokers: study, China Daily, 17 May 2011, archived August 2011, accessed February 2023
  5. abJ.Chen, SM.McGhee, J.Townsend, et al, Did the tobacco industry inflate estimates of illicit cigarette consumption in Asia? An empirical analysis, Tobacco Control 2015;24:e161-e167, doi:10.1136/tobaccocontrol-2014-051937
  6. M.Wong, FBH “sneak attack” on tobacco meets backlash from legco, industry, Harbour Times, 22 May 2015, accessed February 2023