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August 11th, 2009:

Is enough being done to police the smoking ban?


I doubt if enough is being done. It astonishes me to see some people continuing to smoke indoors at venues where it is banned, even on the ground floor.

This reveals the inadequacy in the government’s enforcement policy.

The deterrent effect is inadequate, as smokers think that if they flout the law they will not be caught.

A more worrying problem is that the owners of some bars and mahjong parlours are turning a blind eye to smoking inside their establishments.

They will not strictly follow the law, as they do not shoulder any legal responsibilities, even if someone is caught smoking on their premises. They do not want to lose customers, especially during the present economic downturn. Clearly there is a loophole in the law.

Even if some bar owners do try to stop customers lighting up, they have no powers.

Therefore, more manpower should be allocated to enforce the law.

Frederic Lam Hei-wai, Kwun Tong

Movie posters with smokers criticized by John Tung group

By Jimmy Chuang

NO SMOKERS: The group said it had received many complaints from parents about movie posters on display in MRT stations that show actors smoking

The John Tung Foundation urged the Government Information Office (GIO) yesterday to ban movie posters that show characters holding cigarettes.

“These kinds of posters should not be displayed in public locations, especially when there are a lot of teenagers on summer vacation,” said Lin Ching-li (林清麗), head of the foundation’s Tobacco Hazard Prevention Section.

Lin said the foundation has received a lot of complaints recently from parents about movie posters in major MRT stations that show actors posing with cigarettes, including the French movie Coco Before Chanel.


The parents said they were worried the posters sent the wrong message — that smoking was cool and fashionable — and could mislead young people.

Such posters violate Article 22 of the Tobacco Hazards Prevention Act (菸害防治法), the foundation said as it urged the GIO to ban them.

It said Article 22 states that “TV shows, drama performances, concerts or professional sports occasions should not encourage or emphasize the image of smoking.”


The foundation said the Coco Before Chanel poster was altered in the UK to show the actress holding a pen instead of a cigarette, while in Hong Kong the cigarette was simply eliminated.

In France, the poster was banned from display at Paris subway stations.

Lin said that it was understandable that some movie scripts required actors to smoke, but he said such behavior should not be encouraged.

“At our MRT stations, more than 100,000 commuters would have a chance to such posters and you never know what kind of influence these posters will have on our children,” Lin said.