The Smoking Ordinance (Hong Kong)

The Smoking Ordinance (Hong Kong)

The Smoking (Public Health) (Amendment) Ordinance 2006 is a law passed by Legco on 19 October 2006 to prohibit smoking in certain areas within Hong Kong. First enacted in 1982, this amendment was gazetted on 27 October 2006.

The Smoking Ban, as it is commonly referred to, bans smoking indoors in restaurants, workplaces, schools, karaoke lounges, as well as beaches, swimming pools, sports grounds and public parks. The ban came into force on 1 January 2007.

Designated no smoking areas in Hong Kong

Sadly the Government bent to the whims of the Liberal Party which represented big business interests. They insisted on smoking exemptions in 'Qualified Establishments' until July 01 2009 or they would oppose the legislation that was already delayed by them for 5 years. This flawed system resulted in Hong Kong's legal sales of cigarettes increasing by 164 million sticks in the year after the flawed partial ban (January 01 2007) came into force.The Liberal Party is now all but dead having lost many of its candidates in 2008 elections where disgruntled blue collar voters rebelled against the aloof big business lobby which pandered to its friends and paid its leaders huge sums to head the Hong Kong Tourism Authority (whose current chief executive Anthony Lau was a life long Philip Morris Asia senior manager). Of 7,000 tobacco related deaths in Hong Kong per year, 1,324 people die from passive smoking (Hong Kong University Department of Community Medicine study - Dr Sarah McGhee)The way the Hong Kong Government handled the implementation of its laws intended to save the lives of catering and bar workers is an example of how not to do it in other locations. The Liberal party legislator (Tommy Cheung) representing the catering constituency is the person behind the smoking exemptions rather than trying to protect the health of his voters.(he was returned unopposed and did not have to fight for his seat in Legco).The legislation has been left full of loopholes. Any licensed premises including restaurants can apply for 'Qualified Establishment' status to get a smoking exemption until mid 2009. The applicant licensees just have to affirm that their liquor sales are higher than their food sales to gain the exemption (how daft is that !) A qualified establishment needs to be 'permanently and completely partitioned' from any other establishment. The law deliberately has no definition of 'establishment' in the Ordinance. The people who issue the 'qualified establishment' exemptions without checking out the validity of the applications are Tobacco Control Office , which is ironically a sub department of the Department of Health.In short - a shambles and an example of blinkered lawmakers' interference causing the deaths of innocent catering workers that the laws should be protecting.

1. Beaches.
2. Swimming pools.
3. All Public transports.
4. Cinemas, theatres and music halls.
5. Public lifts and escalators.
6. Game centres.

The entirety of:

7. Schools.
8. Hospitals.
9. Child care centres.
10. Places of refuge.
11. Places of detention.
12. Reformatory schools.

The indoor areas of:

13. Workplaces.
14. Public places.
15. Restaurants.
16. Karaoke establishments.
17. Bars.
18. Residential care homes.
19. Treatment centres.


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