Smoking Awareness Site

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Smoking ban set for start

Legislators have overwhelmingly passed the controversial anti-smoking bill banning smoking in all indoor workplaces and restaurants and selected outdoor areas such as parks and beaches after a marathon nine-hour debate. The vote on the Smoking (Public Health) (Amendment) Bill 2005 - with 52 in favor and two abstentions - paves the way for the ban to come into effect from the start of next year. The bill, which went through its first and second readings Wednesday, exempts certain places of entertainment such as mahjong parlors, massage houses and nightclubs until July 1, 2009. It will go through its third reading today. Secretary for Health, Welfare and Food York Chow Yat-ngok shocked lawmakers with a last-minute announcement that the government will, over the next year or two, study the feasibility of allowing smoking rooms at public parks and beaches.

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