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Ineffective action puts people at risk

SCMP Letters 12 July 2012

Allan Dyer (“Punish this aggressive minority”, July 2) provides a concise summary of the woeful gaps in enforcing the protection of both the public and occupational health against passive smoking.

It beggars belief that after more than two decades of providing objective scientific evidence on the serious detriment to health – both that of smokers and non-smokers – from second-hand smoke, we still have business venues able to defy the law and so far little prospect of effective action and compliance.

The combined effects of weak or delayed government action, intense and effective tobacco industry lobbying, opposition from tobacco-friendly legislators, and ambiguous law drafting has ensured that the health of thousands of hospitality workers has been seriously harmed.

In addition to the unresolved problem of lethal outdoor pollution, the new chief executive and director of health must give Hong Kong’s indoor air quality the highest possible priority.

Anthony Hedley, honorary professor, school of public health, University of Hong Kong

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