Lawmakers Invites Residents to Air Out Opinions on Smoking Fines
Residents are invited by lawmakers to voice out their opinions on the proposed increase in the fines for smoking violations. Based on a draft revision of the city tobacco control regulations that was released last January stated that that city will be imposing a 500 yuan fine for those caught smoking in non smoking areas or those ignoring the warnings. Businesses that fail to set up smoking areas or don’t prevent smoking in restricted areas are also subjected to fines of up to 30,000 yuan, while people selling cigarettes to minors will be fined 20,000 yuan.
The fine represents a huge increase compared from the original regulations and has no sufficient reasons for such increase was provided. In 1998 the smoking regulation took effect which includes a 20 yuan fine for smokers in restricted areas, but did not require businesses to set up smoking areas in their establishments and the city hasn’t issued a single penalty on violators for the past ten years.
The city health authority is in charge of the law enforcement department for smoking control, but they find it hard to monitor smoking, and the fines were too small and because of this smoking control are limited and far from satisfactory. The drafted revision has the authority to expand non smoking areas to 16 types of venues ranging from government departments, schools, urban administration, tourism, culture and market supervision and the police will be given supervision and law enforcement capability.
Residents argued that enclosed areas such as game venues, internet cafes and eateries should not be included in the restrictions, stating that it is unrealistic to ban smoking in these areas when business can designate smoking areas. While others say that smoking should be banned in parks rather than just the indoor areas of parks.