The proposed amendment of Macau’s tobacco control law suggests a ban on displaying tobacco products in shops, a move that will further threaten the business of cigarettes and cigar sales.
With this legal amendment, the government also proposes a ban on the setting up of tasting rooms for cigars at sales points. The suggested removal of the tasting rooms is going to harm the promotion of new products, the second permanent committee’s president, Chan Chak Mo, told media citing the trade representatives. The proposed legal changes have incited strong opposition from tobacco and cigar trading companies.
“Cigars, [like] other tobacco products, ought to be displayed and presented to clients,” Kenith Wong, regional director of the Pacific Cigar Company Ltd., told media after meeting the second permanent committee of the Legislative Assembly. “The tasting room as we call it is a very important facility for the sales process. So this aspect is really key for the operators to continue their business.
The committee, which is currently deliberating upon the amendment of the tobacco control regime, has met Macau’s Trade Chamber of Tobacco Companies and several cigar company representatives for discussion on the bill. Following deliberation by the committee, the bill will undergo a second reading by the general assembly.
A ban would only further threaten the survival of the tobacco trade, as tobacco retailers have already suffered a 70% fall in sales turnover since the tobacco tax hike came into effect on July 14.