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Bar staff have ashtrays for smokers

SCMP May 17, 2012

Bar staff have ashtrays for smokers

I could not agree more with Gibson Wong Lok-tak (“Many bars now ignore smoking ban”, May 9).

The stagnant air sickens people, particularly in upstairs bars, and nobody seems to care about this situation.

Even non-smokers going to these bars are afraid to raise the issue with the landlord or waitresses, as they see ashtrays placed almost everywhere. I even once saw a customer asking a member of staff to provide him with an ashtray; she willingly complied.

The attitude in those bars appears to be that people go there to light up even though it is against the law and that non-smokers who are unwilling to be harmed by second-hand smoke should meet somewhere else.

We all have rights. When people light up in these bars, they violate the right of non-smokers to breathe fresh air.

Customers who realise what is happening is wrong may wish to try to rectify the situation. However, they are often scared of getting a violent response or they know that their request for people to adhere to the law will be ignored.

It seems that only bars in places like shopping malls or well-known tourist spots such as LanKwai Fong will abide by the law. This is probably because of tighter security measures in these areas.

Maybe it is now time for the government or the Tobacco Control Office to step up patrols and launch a crackdown, particularly at night.

Leigh-Anne Wong, Sha Tin

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