Taiwan - smoking ban takes effect - THESE PEOPLE ARE SERIOUS..

January 11, 2009 - Taiwan - a new ban targeting indoor public area takes effect today, January 11, 2009 after an 18-month grace period expired. The amended Tobacco Hazards Prevention Act passed the legislature in June 2007.

According to the revisions to the Tobacco Hazards Prevention Act, smoking in indoor workplaces manned by three or more people and in the majority of other public indoor spaces could result in a fine of up to NT$50,000 (USD$1,508.32) for the businesses and NT$10,000 (USD$301.66) for the individuals involved. Airports have closed their smoking rooms and local air carriers are barred from selling cigarettes to passengers during flights under the new law. The law also bans cigarette advertisements and cigarette promotional activities. Although the law stipulates no smoking in homes where there are children under three or pregnant woman, it does not dictate any punishment for violators. Cigarette vendors are not allowed to sell the product to persons under 18 years of age, to display cigarettes on shelves that are accessible to consumers, or to place cigarettes in automatic vending machines. Also, the law requires that prominent "no smoking" signs be posted at the entrances of the specified establishments.

Taiwan became the 17th country in the world (Ireland, the 1st, banned indoor smoking in 2004), to ban smoking indoors at public facilities by law, prohibiting smoking in theaters, restaurants, office buildings and public establishments, in the first step toward a government goal to make the country smoke-free. Some establishments such as hotels, restaurants, shopping malls and nursing homes for the elderly are allowed to have special smoking areas. However, these establishments are likely to prohibit smoking altogether in light of the strict requirements for setting up smoking rooms.

In a bid to discourage violations of the ban, health authorities are offering rewards to people who report such violations. Dozens fined for smoking violations..

In addition to implementing the indoor smoking ban, the Cabinet-level Department of Health is currently lobbying the Legislative Yuan to pass a bill to increase the health tax on tobacco products. Taiwan lawmakers fail to raise tobacco tax..

John Tung Foundation, the leader in Taiwan's anti- smoking campaign.

References: Indoor smoking ban takes effect
Health authorities are expected to target hotels, KTVs, Internet cafes and chain restaurants in first wave of inspections
, Central News, Taiwan News, 1/11/2009; Indoor smoking ban enforced,By Dimitri Bruyas,The China Post, 1/12/2009.



January 11, 2009 at 11:00 PM

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