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Should Smoking Rooms Be Allowed?

Jan 01, 2009 – SCMP

With the second phase of the smoking ban due to be implemented this summer, many bar owners have called for smoking rooms to be installed.

They believe a total smoking ban will lead to more restaurants, bars and nightclubs closing. The proprietors argue that with the smoking rooms they would be able to retain customers who smoke.

A number of restaurants have closed in Hong Kong, but this is due to the economic tsunami, not the smoking ban.

There have been a number of surveys showing that a smoking ban does not lead to the closure of restaurants. On the contrary, it leads to increased profits.

Advocates of smoking rooms say they enable a business to strike the right balance for smokers and non-smokers. Nevertheless, smoke will still escape from smoking rooms to other areas of the premises and non-smokers will still be exposed to passive smoking.

Also, have supporters of smoking rooms forgotten the right of staff in pubs, nightclubs and restaurants to work in a smoke-free environment?

It seems that to some people, making a profit is much more important than the welfare of staff. They must learn to be more considerate.

Lui Na-chun, Wong Tai Sin

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