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Should The Full Smoking Ban Be Delayed?

Dec 16, 2008 – SCMP

I am aware bar owners have said they want the full implementation of the smoking ban (with all exemptions ended) to be delayed. They have cited problems they are experiencing because of the economic downturn.

They either want the grace period they have enjoyed to be extended or to be allowed to put in smoking rooms.

I am not convinced that extending the grace period will necessarily be good for business.

If the economy is in bad shape and people are suffering financially, then they will avoid unnecessary expenditure such as drinking in bars and nightclubs, whether or not there is a smoking ban.

The full smoking ban must be implemented.

It is not just that smoking is bad for the health of people lighting up. It is also bad for people who are exposed to second-hand smoke in these premises.

Workers in these bars are also exposed to this smoke, and this cannot be good for their health.

We can longer ignore the side effects of smoking in bars and nightclubs.

If bars want to get more customers through their doors during the present financial crisis, then they should think about introducing discounts, such as buy three glasses of beer, get one free.

I admit we are facing tough times, but that is no reason to put people’s health at risk.

Delaying full implementation of the smoking ban is not going to solve our economic problems.

Ng Sze-Nga, Kwai Chung

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