Clear The Air News Tobacco Blog Rotating Header Image

Implement Full Smoking Ban

SCMP – Updated on Oct 15, 2008

Imperfect laws always end up causing havoc (“Bars win in smoking-ban case”, October 9).

Instead of a simple smoking ban, as successfully implemented in restaurants in 2007, some Legco members pushed for extensions and exemptions in the indoor areas of bars open to those aged 18 and above, mahjong parlours and clubs, commercial bathhouses, massage establishments and nightclubs.

This was further complicated by clauses as to whether food was served and in what amount. There has been considerable confusion and challenges to this law, never mind workers continuing all the time to be exposed to second hand smoke. The health lobby always supported a complete ban to establish a level playing field, to aid implementation and to protect workers’ health.

One hundred and sixty countries have now ratified a WHO treaty that states: “Parties recognise that scientific evidence has unequivocally established that exposure to tobacco smoke causes death, disease and disability.”

Why did Legco not follow this mandate?

Virtually every study done on the introduction of complete smoke-free areas in restaurants and bars shows that such bans are good for the health and the wealth of establishments.

Legco should bring forward the date of a ban in the premises given exemptions and immediately make them smoke-free.

Dr Judith Mackay, director, Asian Consultancy on Tobacco Control

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>