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December 21st, 2008:

Total Smoking Ban Is The Only Answer

SCMP – Updated on Dec 21, 2008

As I am one of the many people who have to put up with second-hand smoke every day, I think it is time for the government to impose tougher laws for smokers.

However, I must question the efficacy of Hong Kong’s current and proposed regulations.

Smokers can still be seen lighting up in no-smoking areas. While smoking is banned in certain places, many smokers can still be seen in these areas.

To solve this problem, the government plans a fixed penalty of HK$1,500 for a smoking offence. We have a similar penalty for littering and yet people litter every day and do not get caught.

The creation of smoking areas has a downside. They are outside and so you see a lot of smokers gathered in public outdoor places such as patios, the street, outside restaurants, and parks. The air reeks of smoke, and people near them have to inhale second-hand smoke.

Only by completely banning smoking in Hong Kong will the problem be solved.

Until then, no law can stop smokers from polluting the air and damaging the health of others.

Kimberly Kwan, Quarry Bay