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Should The Ban On Smoking In Bars Be Delayed?

Dec 01 2008 – SCMP

Some bar owners have asked that the ban on smoking in their premises should not be implemented on July 1, but should be delayed. They think the time is not right given the problems Hong Kong is going through.

However, I disagree. I do not think the ban should be postponed.

Bar owners fear they could lose customers who smoke, but what about the non-smoking patrons? They want to be able to enjoy drinking in a bar that has a better, smoke-free environment.

Hopefully it will also make smokers think about their habit. If they are in bars and cannot smoke, it may encourage them to think about giving up cigarettes.

I have read some newspaper reports where people have actually said that after the restrictions were introduced, it would hopefully make them more determined to give up cigarettes.

I think a total ban in bars will be another step forward for the anti-smoking movement.

We also have to look at the issue of human rights. Non-smokers should not have to breathe in second-hand smoke. A smoker has to realise that he is affecting those people who are around him.

Only a total ban can protect non-smokers in bars.

The government should not delay the total ban. We must try to move closer to the goal of a smoke-free city.

Bonnie Lam Hiu-wai, Tseung Kwan O

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