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Is enough being done to police the smoking ban?


Your correspondents Allan Dyer and Annelise Connell should get realistic about smoking “offenders” inside buildings, lifts and bars (Talkback, August 17). Ms Connell claims that offenders are “criminal” and bar licence-holders should be penalised if they fail to enforce no-smoking rules.

She even suggests they should call the police every time an offender refuses to co-operate and, furthermore, that they should lose their liquor licences (and landlords the use of their premises) if they fail to report these “vice” cases to the police.

Let’s make it quite clear, smokers lighting up in the wrong places are not committing crimes. These offences are only misdemeanours in law and the police have much more important priorities than to welcome smoking complaints and send officers rushing to licensed premises to track down smokers.

If I were the local police commander, whose officers received repeated phone calls from a bar owner about this problem, I would issue a polite warning about wasting police time.

You have to face the reality. All you anti-tobacco lobbyists have been outwitted. You have been handed an utterly useless and almost unenforceable law.

Blasphemy and the use of foul language also continue to be offences, but we hear these on the streets all the time. Why not start a campaign about these “crimes” as well? Your correspondents have to get real.

P. A. Crush, Sha Tin

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