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China to ban smoking in indoor public places in 2011

china-tobaccoLast updated:  May 10, 2010

Source: Golbal Times

China to ban smoking in indoor public places in 2011 Source: Global Times [16:36 May 10 2010] Comments China is set to implement a ban on smoking in all indoor public places including workplaces and public transport vehicles from January 2011.

Yang Qing, Director General of the Department of Maternal and Child Health and Community Health at China’s Ministry of Health (MOH) says that the ban is being carried out according to the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.

The MOH will ban smoking in its offices this month.

One year ago, the ministry said that all its offices and medical facilities would be smoke-free by 2011.

Clear the Air says: Tommy Cheung

So what does Legco member Tommy Cheung have to say ? after all he predicted doom and gloom for the catering industry after the smoking ban in workplaces came into being.

Has he printed a retraction to say he was wrong – by about HK$ 18 billion only whilst meanwhile demanding an hourly minimum wage of HK$ 20 ?

Can we trust what the Liberal Party or its non elected Functional Constituency members say or vested interests tell them what to say ?

You decide.

Total Restaurant Receipts






Index (Average of quarterly indices from Oct 2004 to Sep 2005 = 100)

Year-on-year % change

Index (Average of quarterly indices from Oct 2004 to Sep 2005 = 100)

Year-on-year % change













2006 no smoking ban






2007 Jan -partial smoking ban commences












2009 – July full smoking ban in place






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The restaurants sector’s total receipts was $20.8 billion in value in the first quarter, up 4.8% on the same period last year, the Census & Statistics Department says. Restaurants’ total purchases increased 4.2% in value, to $7.2 billion.

After discounting the effect of price changes, total restaurant receipts rose 3.9% in volume.

Analysed by type of restaurant, Chinese restaurants’ total receipts rose 6.3% in value, or 5.3% in volume. Fast food shops‘ total receipts grew 5.3% in value or 4.6% in volume, while bars’ total receipts of bars rose 5% in value or 4.9% in volume.

Non-Chinese restaurants’ total receipts rose 2.4% in value or 1.9% in volume, while the figure for miscellaneous eating and drinking places grew 2% in value or 1.1% in volume.

On a seasonally adjusted quarter-to-quarter comparison, the volume of total restaurant receipts increased 1.2%.

Letters to the Editor: Officials must crack down on smokers

police-crackdown-415x275Last updated: March 21, 2010

Source: South China Morning Post

It is always a pleasure to visit Hong Kong and I felt things would be even better thanks to the smoking ban in pubs and public open spaces. However, I see the law being flouted and it is getting worse. In November there were some incidents, in January a few more, and this month I saw people smoking in so many establishments.

The government seems to be willing to let Hong Kong return to the bad old days. What a shame it will not enforce the law.

There are now several establishments I will not go to because the smoking problem is worse than ever, so at least I’m saving money.

I hope for Hong Kong’s sake the government wakes up before it is too late and the bad old days are back forever.

John Preston, Hawksburn, Victoria, Australia

City Tries to Shut Club It Says Flouts Smoking Ban

bar-smokingFirst published: March 14, 2010

Source: New York Times

The Bloomberg administration is moving closer to shutting one of the largest and busiest nightclubs in the city, as part of an aggressive new strategy to revoke the operating licenses of clubs that health officials believe promote smoking.

The nightclub, the M2 UltraLounge on West 28th Street in Manhattan, went on trial last week at a special administrative court that the city uses when it seeks to take away property. If the case against the club succeeds, it would be the first time the city had closed a business solely for flouting a ban on smoking.

City officials have also moved to take several other clubs before the court, seeking to revoke their food and beverage licenses. It has been an open secret for years among the late-night set that there is a network of so-called smoke-easies throughout the city, from little neighborhood dives to glossy, exclusive boîtes, that let patrons smoke illegally.

Health department officials say that the vast majority of businesses comply with the 2002 law forbidding smoking in clubs and bars, but that inspectors have struggled to enforce it at a handful of high-end places that seem to market themselves as smoker-friendly, some even offering loose cigarettes for sale.

Generally, health officials have looked for signs of active tobacco use as part of their inspections concerning other rules, like those for food safety, and have cited clubs for violations that often result in fines of $200 to $2,000.

But they have had difficulty gaining access to the clubs when patrons are actually smoking.


Bars ignoring smoking ban taking our business, other pubs complain

smoking in bar

Patrons of bars in Tsim Sha Tsui can ignore the smoking ban as long as no one complains to the Tobacco Control Office - a loophole some bar owners say costs them business.

Updated: February 28, 2010

Source: South China Morning Post

Popular bars on Hong Kong Island are sick of abiding by the smoking ban while competitors in other parts of the city ignore it, and are demanding the government step in.

The owners claim that because they follow the law they are losing customers – while most others ignore the ban and are escaping with their profits intact.

Smoking legislation in Hong Kong, unlike jurisdictions elsewhere in the world, punishes smokers, not bars, for breaches. Rather than bar-owners facing losing their licences for failing to stop patrons from smoking, it is the individual smoker who faces prosecution. This means hundreds of bars are allowing smoking to continue as normal.


Big Tobacco still on the march, WHO warns

Big TobaccoFirst published: February 26, 2010

Source: Reuters

GENEVA (Reuters) – Governments must do more to protect workers in bars, restaurants and the entertainment sector from harmful smoke, and curb tobacco advertising and sponsorship, the World Health Organization said on Friday.

Developing countries are the new frontier for tobacco companies, which often target women and girls, and smoking rates remain high among poor people in affluent countries, it said.

Tobacco kills more than 5 million people a year from cardiovascular disease, cancers, diabetes and other chronic illnesses, including about 600,000 from second-hand smoke, according to the United Nations agency.

“Most alarming of all, tobacco use is actually increasing in many developing countries. If Big Tobacco is in retreat in some parts of the world, it is on the march in others,” Dr. Margaret Chan, WHO director-general, told a meeting to review implementation of a landmark tobacco treaty five years after it came into force.


Enforcers pleased with smoke ban compliance

Dan Kadison – SCMP

Most smokers are complying with the final phase of the smoking ban – and a new measure will soon provide a strong deterrent to those considering lighting up in prohibited places, a top law enforcement official says.

On September 1, the Fixed Penalty (Smoking Offences) Ordinance will go into effect, giving tobacco control inspectors, police and at least 1,000 government employees the power to issue fixed HK$1,500 tickets to those who puff away in smoke-free spots.

“A fixed-penalty ticket is quite, quite costly… We’re talking HK$1,500. It’s an expensive ticket,” said Chief Inspector Roger L.S. Mui, who has been working with the Tobacco Control Office since December. “People will think before they smoke in a non-smoking area.”

At present, 85 tobacco control inspectors issue summonses to law-breakers in smoke-free venues. Each summons carried a possible penalty of up to HK$5,000, but the actual fine imposed by the courts had averaged “around HK$500 to HK$1,000″, Chief Inspector Mui said.

Under the new ordinance, the summons scheme will be dropped and hundreds of “designated officers” from the departments of food and environmental hygiene, leisure and cultural services, and housing will be empowered to issue fixed-penalty tickets “in public venues under their management”, a Department of Health spokesman said.

Tobacco control inspectors have issued more than 14,000 summonses since January last year, when smoking became illegal in restaurants, workplaces and indoor public areas.

Bars, nightclubs, mahjong parlours, karaokes, massage venues and bathhouses lost their exemptions on July 1 – and, overall, the final phase of the ban was “working well”, Chief Inspector Mui said. People were following the law and venue operators were being “very co-operative”.

Health Department figures show 310 complaints were made about smoking in venues covered by the final phase and 45 summonses were issued by tobacco control investigators up to last Monday.

Chief Inspector Mui said publicity and education about the switch to fixed-penalty tickets, along with the wider net of enforcement, would further deter smokers. In the meantime, he said, ticket issuers had been trained and were ready to enforce the new ordinance. They had received instruction from Tobacco Control Office staff and police, who have been seconded to the office to train inspectors since 2005.

TVB Pearl 1855 hrs tonight: 2009.08.23 – Discussing the Smoking Ban

播出日期 2009.08.23(日)

娛樂場所禁煙經已實施,現時只餘下街頭與家裡為合法吸煙場所。但娛樂場所禁煙的實施也困難重重,因為部分娛樂場所負責人表明不會要求客人禁煙 – 而新例亦只懲處違例吸煙者,不包括場所負責人。


The ban on smoking in places of entertainment like bars, clubs and mahjong parlours is meant to have pushed cigarette smoking on to the streets of Hong Kong. Or, into homes.

Enforcing that ban though will be a challenge. Some entertainmnet venue operators have vowed to allow their customers to smoke, in defiance of the ban. And the law permits that – only the smoker is punished.

Anyone hit with a fixed penalty fine for smoking, to be implemented in September, will have 21 days to pay it. Critics ask if that’s the case, how can Hong Kong enforce a smoking ban on visitors?


Click the following link to see the programme:

Is enough being done to police the smoking ban?


Apparently, the enforcement of the ban is too lax as we can still see smokers lighting up in indoor areas. Some smokers have moved to upstairs bars where they can enjoy their cigarettes without worrying about being caught.

Worse still, the owners of some bars actually provide ashtrays to their patrons. Although there are some owners who will try and persuade customers to put out their cigarettes, they are often ignored.

A ban that cannot be enforced is equal to having no law at all.

Those flouting the law will continue to light up and non-smokers will still be exposed to lethal second-hand smoke.

I would like to see Tobacco Control Officers increase the frequency of their patrols in areas such as SoHo and Lan Kwai Fong. I also think raids should be carried out in those upstairs pubs where smokers ignore the law.

I appreciate that pub owners face a dilemma, but they should play a more active role. For example, they should remove all ashtrays and urge customers who wish to smoke to go outside.

Non-smokers also have an important role to play. They can report venues where smokers are defying the ban to the respective government department.

I urge smokers to abide by the ban and show some consideration for non-smokers. Also, they must appreciate that they are breaking the law and if they are caught they will be fined. All they have to do to avoid that is go outside.

Mike Lam, Kwun Tong

Up to 40 pubs may close, massage and mahjong parlours also suffer

Amy Nip, Austin Chiu and Dan Kadison – SCMP

More than 30 bars are on the verge of closing as a result of the ban on smoking in entertainment venues, according to the Hong Kong Bar and Club Association. Massage and mahjong parlours have also been hit hard, the industry says.

Business at bars and pubs had dropped 20 per cent to 40 per cent since the smoking ban came into force, the association said.

Business at massage parlours had halved, according to associations representing the sector. Most mahjong parlour operators interviewed said their business was down by about a third.

Some 30 or 40 bars, out of a total of 800 in the city, could close in the near future, Hong Kong Bar and Club Association vice-chairman Chin Chun-wing said. Up to 10 bar owners had sold their businesses recently.

While some smokers said they now preferred going to upstairs pubs – some of which are turning a blind eye to the ban – Mr Chin said others had simply stopped going to bars.

Charlie Chair Sai-sui, a 25-year veteran of the industry and operator of the Schooner Pub & Karaoke in Tsim Sha Tsui, said he was making a loss of about HK$30,000 a month in an industry that was experiencing a “bloodbath”.

At Delaney’s Irish pub in Tsim Sha Tsui, general manager Colin Williams said it was too early to judge the smoking ban’s effect, as “July is notoriously bad anyway”. He estimated receipts had dropped 5 per cent because daytime customers were no longer stopping by for a cup of coffee and a cigarette.

Other patrons, however, were now bringing their children to the pub and that was helping offset losses. Also, evening customers, mostly overseas visitors, were “used to these [smoking] bans already”, he said.

Chow Chun-yu, chief executive of the Hong Kong Licensed Massage Association, said customers would rather go to mainland parlours because they could smoke there.

A supervisor at the Tai Sam Yuen mahjong parlour in Sham Shui Po said the smoking ban had been more damaging to the business than the global economic crisis. It had caused business to fall by a fifth and the parlour could close at any time.

And a general manager at mahjong parlour operator KC City said business at her eight parlours was down 40 per cent compared to July last year. Four-fifths of customers were smokers, she said.

But James Middleton, chairman of Hong Kong-based Clear The Air’s anti-tobacco committee, said smoking bans had not hurt the catering industry in other countries.

Overall, till receipts in places that had enforced smoking bans had stayed the same or, in most places, risen by 5 per cent to 12 per cent, he said. Hong Kong had seen “the biggest up” in business, even with a partial ban, of any city, he said.

“Restaurant turnover [in Hong Kong] has increased 29 per cent since before the ban,” Mr Middleton said. “And restaurant turnover here includes bars … of 7,000 licensed premises, [only] 1,000 applied for an exemption [from the smoking ban] and were granted an exemption.”

One reason for the increase was that Hong Kong families were able to bring their young children to the smoke-free establishments, he said.