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After deliberations lasting no less than 6 years, the government of the special administrative region of Hong Kong finally announced new tobacco control measures last October. After such a long wait and in view of Hong Kong’s previous record as a public health leader in the region, there was bound to be disappointment at anything less than a model package. Unfortunately, several strange clauses found their way into the final law, and as the fifth annual conference of the International Society for the Prevention of Tobacco Induced Disease (ISPTID-http://www.hku.hk/ptid/) convened in Hong Kong a month later, the new measures came in for intense discussion by experts from around the world.
As previously reported in these pages, individuals with tobacco industry links are to be found embedded in many important institutions in Hong Kong, and it often seems that business interests dominate even when life and death issues are debated by local politicians (Tobacco Control 2005;14:151–2; and 2003;12:10–11). Some major loopholes in what …
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