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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Coming Soon - NO SMOKING

Hong Kong lawmakers draft law to ban smoking
Mon Jan 10, 2005

HONG KONG (AFP) - Hong Kong lawmakers were drafting a law to ban smoking in public places, joining New York and countries such as Ireland and Norway in leading the charge against tobacco.

The proposed amendment, which came before the Legislative Council (LegCo) health services panel for discussion Monday morning, aims to ban smoking in all restaurants, bars, karaokes, indoor working places, schools, universities and nursing homes.

At the meeting, most legislators expressed their support of the law and said other places such as saunas and massage or mahjong parlours should not be exempt from the ban.

Under the proposal, there will be a grace period of three months to a year for various establishments once the bill becomes law.

In October, the territory's legislature voted overwhelmingly in favour of the ban. Legislation should be in place by this summer.

The smoking ban is supported by the majority of Hong Kong citizens, according to surveys.

A study released by the Democratic Party Sunday showed 72.4 percent of 725 respondents believed the smoking ban in restaurants should become law and implemented immediately.

Nearly 80 percent wanted an immediate ban on smoking in work places.

Italy became the latest place to impose stricter restrictions on smokers, with a ban on smoking in all public places going into effect Monday.
 

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i personally do not think that such a law would work eventhough i really wanted it to work.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Such a ban is already in place in many Western cities. If everyone bans smoking, customers will either have to stay out of all of them or cope. While smokers might go out less often, non-smokers will visit more often and perhaps spend a bit more per visit.
 

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I think California banned smoking in public places way before any parts of USA.

When I went back to HK just a few weeks ago I couldn't stand people smoking in public places after the trip I ended up having a slight case of bronchitis.
 

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It is time that the government started to do something about the serious smoking problems in HK. In my opinion, if the smoking ban does not get passed, the government should propose to reduce the percent of smoking areas within restaurants. Though a smoking ban would not be very fesible in my opinion, but it is still a good sign that the government is taking a step in concerning the health of the citizens.
 

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goodluck to you!

here in the philippines, when they banned smoking in enclosed places there was some initial resistance and alot of bars, restaurants complained of reduced customers.. but afterwards the bars designated smoking areas and i think that the customers came back as a result..

i think 90% of the malls are already compliant with the law.. but there are some hard-headed people who still do not abide by it..
 

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This is indeed great news !!! Apart from the placed mentioned above, TORONTO has had this law for some time. It is so progressive!!! The Netherlands is also moving (alas slower) there. Last year they finally banned smoking in public transportation (trains), and offices. 10 years overdue !!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
New code on smoking for health sector
Raymond Ma
6 February 2005
South China Morning Post

The World Health Organisation is to ask medical groups in Hong Kong to adopt a code of practice in dealing with the tobacco industry and to help reduce smoking.

About 70 groups representing of health professionals - doctors, nurses, pharmacists, the self-medication industry and the medical faculties of universities in Hong Kong - will be asked to adopt the code, according to WHO senior policy adviser Judith Mackay.

This comes amid concerns that the medical sector has been slow to show support for reforms to the city's antismoking laws, and after the revelation that one top local academic institution has taken tobacco money to fund cancer and nicotine research.

The code of practice, adopted by a WHO conference on health professionals and tobacco control in January last year, asks signatories to encourage members to quit smoking, refrain from accepting support from the tobacco industry and openly support campaigns for smoke-free public places.

The initiative is being spearheaded in Hong Kong by Dr Mackay, one of the authors of the code, and former lawmaker Lo Wing-lok - who is also a member of Hong Kong Council on Smoking and Health.

Hong Kong is one of the first places where national medical groups will be asked to join.

Asked whether the code was expected to be readily adopted by the local health sector, Dr Mackay said: "There has been absolutely zero opposition so far from the international bodies {hellip} but some of the organisations [in Hong Kong] will have to have committee meetings to endorse it."

Late last year, the University of Science and Technology came under attack when the Sunday Morning Post revealed a non-medical faculty had taken millions in research funding from tobacco giant Philip Morris.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
HK learns the full, 'alarming' costs of smoking
Experts' 5-year research likely to bolster push for law change

Raymond Ma
20 February 2005
South China Morning Post

Landmark findings on the financial strain that cigarette smoking is putting on Hong Kong's health system will be unveiled by international academics this week. The figures would cause alarm, a medic and legislator predicted.

The estimate of the economic costs of smoking - the fruit of five years' of research - will be included in a 50-page report to be released on Thursday. The report is expected to show that previous estimates of the cost of smoking in Hong Kong fell far short of the mark.

"Having this new information should remove any shred of doubt that we need to move ahead with more effective smoke-free laws as soon as possible," Sarah McGhee, of the University of Hong Kong, said yesterday.

The closest authoritative dollar estimate so far of the impact of smoking in Hong Kong - $900 million a year - was released by the government late last year.

The latest study, led by HKU academics, is based on more expansive data and, for the first time, takes into account passive smoking in calculating the cost of treating diseases caused by tobacco.

"I expect the results from this study to be quite alarming," said medical sector legislator Kwok Ka-ki, who is aware of the research but is not involved in it.

The HKU findings are likely to form a key plank in the government's campaign to push through a controversial ban on smoking in restaurants and bars as part of reforms to anti-smoking laws.

The reforms are aimed at reducing harm to the 85.6 per cent of the population that does not smoke.

The findings will also set the stage for another round of debate in a Legislative Council panel meeting on Friday, when officials are expected to reveal results of a study on the economic impact of smoking bans in restaurants and bars overseas.

The HKU research was carried out in the university's department of community medicine in collaboration with health economist Helen Lapsley, of the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia.

Professor McGhee, research project leader, said: "Until now we have not had a comprehensive, up-to-date, reliable estimate of the cost of diseases caused by tobacco, including passive smoking.

"Having this information at our fingertips should remove any shred of doubt that we need to move ahead with more effective smoke-free laws as soon as possible."

Smoking kills up to 7,100 each year in Hong Kong, according to previous studies - including 1,300 non-smokers who die from passive smoking.

In Australia, three studies - all co-authored by Dr Lapsley - have been carried out for the federal government since 1991.

The latest, published in 2002, put the annual cost of smoking at A$21.1 billion ($129.7 billion) for a country of 20 million people and a smoking rate of 19 per cent.

The 2002 study was the most extensive so far and examined everything from the drain on welfare services due to smoking, to crime, workplace absenteeism, fires started by live cigarettes, and even the cost of littering by smokers.

A US Centre for Diseases Control study blames smoking for about US$157 billion in annual health-related economic losses in the United States.

Hong Kong health-sector insiders expect draft amendments to the Smoking (Public Health) ordinance to be submitted to Legco by May.

Last year tax revenue generated by the sale of tobacco products was $2.3 billion - just over 1 per cent of government income.

Meanwhile, an alliance of 20 medical, civilian and educational groups supporting government proposals to tighten anti-smoking laws plans to sign the World Health Organisation's code of practice on dealing with tobacco firms next week.
 

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Good news :eek:kay:

As the first article says, Norway has banned public smoking and we're now one of the leading the charge against tobacco. Some is really opposit against that, while hundreds of thousands has stopped smoking. But extremly many has stopped smoking the last 5 years and many more is in progress of stopping.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Hong Kong Expects to Extend Smoking Ban by Aug 2006
Fri Feb 25,11:43 PM ET

HONG KONG (Reuters) - Hong Kong's government expects to extend a ban on smoking to bars, restaurants and offices in August next year at the earliest, joining a growing list of cities worldwide outlawing lighting up in crowded places.

The administration first proposed the wider ban in 2001 to protect people from second-hand smoke, but met fierce resistance from businesses, which are highly influential in politics. Last October, the government decided to introduce the smoke-ban bill.

"We hope to present the bill to the Legislative Council in May, and it will take at least another 15 months to take effect as law," a government spokeswoman told Reuters on Saturday, quoting Permanent Secretary for Health, Carrie Yau.

The bill will expand non-smoking areas to all indoor restaurants, bars, karaoke lounges and outdoor campuses and tightens controls over the sale and promotion of tobacco.

Smoking has been banned in shopping centers, cinemas, supermarkets and banks since 1998, and big restaurants are already required to have designated no-smoking zones.

According to the World Health Organization, 16 people die in Hong Kong each day from tobacco-related illnesses. About 15 percent of the population of seven million smokes.

In March last year, Ireland became the first country in Europe to outlaw smoking in pubs, bars and restaurants. Similar bans are in force in several U.S. cities, including New York.

Hong Kong is losing HK$5.3 billion (US$679 million) a year to smoking via lost productivity and health care costs, medical experts have said.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Hong Kong government eyes complete ban on indoor smoking
April 1, 2005

HONG KONG (AFP) - The Hong Kong government said it was planning a complete ban on indoor smoking and would present a bill to that effect before the legislature next month.

The smoking ban would cover indoor areas such as restaurants, bars, karaokes, indoor working places, schools and nursing homes, but saunas and massage or mahjong parlours would be exempt.

Under the proposal, there will be a grace period of three to six months for various establishments once the bill becomes law, Health Secretary York Chow said, adding he was confident the bill would be passed at the legislature.

In October, the territory's legislature voted overwhelmingly in favour of the ban. Legislation should be in place by this summer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Hong Kong publishes bill banning smoking in bars, restaurants

Fri Apr 29, 3:10 AM ET

HONG KONG, (AFP) - The Hong Kong government published a bill extending anti-smoking laws to nearly all public indoor areas including restaurants, bars and workplaces.

The bill, which includes restrictions on tobacco advertising and promotion, would also bar smoking in schools, karaoke bars, mahjong parlours, commercial bath-houses and nursing homes.

"The danger and harmful effects of tobacco is no long in doubt. The current law isn't enough. The (extension) will ensure the health of staff and customers can be properly protected," Leung Ting-hung, deputy director of the Health, told reporters.

Smoking, which is estimated to kill about 5,700 people every year in Hong Kong, is already banned in cinemas, shopping malls, supermarkets, banks and department stores.

Smoking at home, in hotel rooms and in smoking areas of airports will be exempt from the new law, which gives affected premises a three-month grace period.

In line with other anti-smoking legislation across the world, tobacco manufacturers will have to print pictorial health warnings over no less than half their products' packaging. They will be given a year to comply.

"We are hoping that the images would deter people from smoking and help them to understand the various dangers caused by smoking. This is found to be effective," Leung said.

Anyone breaking the new law, which will be introduced to the Legislative Council on May 11, will be liable to a 5,000 dollar (641 US dollars) fine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Monday May 2, 12:27 PM
Reports: 200 businesses turn off lights along major Hong Kong road to protest smoking ban

AP - About 200 businesses on a major Hong Kong road shut off their neon signs to protest government plans to implement an indoor smoking ban that they say would threaten their livelihoods by driving away smokers, newspapers reported Monday.

Restaurants, saunas, night clubs and other businesses on Nathan Road turned off their lights from 9 p.m. (1300 GMT) to midnight (1600 GMT) Sunday, the Ming Pao Daily News reported.

Smoking is currently banned in movie theaters, shopping malls, supermarkets and department stores, but Hong Kong's government plans to introduce legislation this month expanding the ban to all indoor public places to improve air quality and reduce deaths from second-hand smoking.

Similar bans in other countries have not affected businesses, the Health, Welfare and Food Bureau said in a statement, adding that proprietors would be given a 90-day grace period to comply with the ban.

Sunday's protest came at the beginning of the weeklong May Day holiday in neighboring mainland China, when Hong Kong is expected to see an influx of Chinese tourists.

Business owners say the ban would drive away customers who smoke. Newspapers ran pictures showing a dimmed Nathan Road.

About 15 percent of Hong Kong's population above age 15, or 847,000 people, were smokers in 2003. The government has said Hong Kong spends 900 million Hong Kong dollars (US$115 million) a year treating smoking-related diseases.
 
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