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Should Smoking Rooms Be Allowed?

SCMP – Updated on Dec 27, 2008

I do not support the idea of setting up smoking rooms.

For those who think we should be slightly lenient to smokers in Hong Kong, please take a look at our “new” eating environment.

It is now so common to see people eat and hold cigarettes outside cha chaan tengs [tea cafes] which prohibit indoor smoking. When we walk past, it is difficult to breathe. Smoking rooms will only lead to a deterioration of the already bad air quality.

Without a proper ventilation system, things will only get worse and it is the non-smokers who are made to suffer.

Even if the ventilation system is so well designed that no smoke can escape, these rooms would be very tempting to ex-smokers or to those who are trying to quit this vice. It is likely that the number of smokers would rise again as a result of this hasty decision by the government.

Though many countries, including Germany and Italy, allow smoking rooms, Hong Kong, with seriously suffocating air from vehicles and [the smoke from] Chinese restaurants, should not follow blindly. We have to consider our own situation wisely.

We must not be lured into granting something when it has already been decided that we should get rid of it.

Leung Yuen-lung, Sham Shui Po

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