As of January 1st, 2007, Hong Kong declared itself smoke free. There are six types of “qualified establishments” exempt from this current regulation – nightclubs, commercial bathhouses, massage establishments, mahjong parlours, designated mahjong rooms in clubs and certain bars – which may implement the smoking ban by July 1, 2009 at the latest. Click here for the full story.
Ok, so now that everyone is clear as to the areas where smoking is prohibited, why then, do restaurants continue to allow their customers to smoke? Case in point, I was out Wednesday night for a social get together with my friend. We met at a restaurant in Central and you wouldn’t think there was a ban. We asked the manager why people were still smoking and he said he asked but the customers refused to stop smoking. These people were using anything they could as an ashtray as none were around…………..gee, I wonder why?
All along I thought it would be difficult to police this sort of regulation and Wednesday night proved the point.
For the most part, Hong Kong citizens are law abiding. As an example, on the roads you would never see a driver cross a double white line so why don’t the smokers adhere to this law as well? The maximum fine is HKD$5,000.00 (USD$644.00) but this ban is for individuals and not establishments and there is no one policing it. So I guess the no smoking ban looks good on paper only. Here’s an account of someone trying to get information regarding the new law.
The Culinary Chase’s Note: This will be a tough law to implement especially with over 840,000 smokers.