Taiwan - Taipei quit smoking booths around city..

November 30, 2009 - The Taipei City Government will set up eight “quit smoking” booths around the city designed to attract smokers, while providing them with information to help them give up the habit.

The city’s Department of Health said the plan is aimed at providing outdoor smoking areas for smokers and creating more opportunities for smokers to access information and channels to quit smoking. Yu Li-hui (游麗惠), a division chief at the department, said the department would set up the booths on the east side of Taipei Railway Station and in outdoor areas at six branches of the Taipei City Hospital next year.

Each of the booths can accommodate three to seven people and will be equipped with a ventilation system to encourage smokers to smoke inside the booths, she said.

“We will post information inside the booths, using a ‘soft power’ approach to persuade smokers to quit. We will make the booths comfortable so that smokers don’t feel they are being discriminated against,” she said.

Yu dismissed concerns that the booths would violate the Tobacco Hazards Prevention and Control Act (菸害防治法), as they will be set up in outdoor areas. The Act bans smoking at indoor facilities designed for more than three people, such as government offices, hotels, restaurants, shopping malls, Internet cafes and karaoke bars.

Many people have complained about second-hand smoke since the Act came into force in January, as the number of people who gather outside office buildings and on the sidewalk has increased, Yu said.

The city government said that it would add more booths if the plan is successful, she said.

Reference: Taipei City turns to ‘soft power’ to help smokers quit
by Mo Yan-chih, STAFF REPORTER, Taipei Times, 11/26/2009.