Starting from January next year, smoking within 10 meters of any bus stop will be banned. The director of the Health Bureau (SSM), Lei Chin Ion, said that the SSM will coordinate with the Civic and Municipal Affairs Bureau (IACM) to delineate the boundaries of non-smoking areas, the SSM revealed last week.
According to Lei, the border will be drawn with a grey line, in order to make it easy for the public and law enforcement officers to identify the tobacco-free areas.
Related work has already commenced, and will be completed before the end of the year.
Lei remarked that currently, people are unable to avoid second hand smoking. As for whether a person passing by a bus stop while smoking will be considered illegal, Lei stated that a person should put out their cigarette before entering a smoking-free zone.
At the same time, Lei reaffirmed that smoking is not a crime and is difficult to put an end to, and that the government can only try its best to control smoking through public education and through enhanced law enforcement.
According to the SSM, in the majority of the world, law enforcement can only reduce the use of tobacco by about 20 percent. The remaining 80 percent mainly comes from publicity and education.
The SSM said that it will continue to conduct anti-smoking inspections. In addition, the bureau noted that some tobacco-control associations will also use Facebook and WeChat, along with other new media sources, to collect the public’s reports of cases of illegal smoking.
Through this information, SSM believes that the public will find out which restaurants are a black spot for smoking, and it will encourage restaurants to be more careful.