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Smoking ban at more than 1,000 LCSD public pleasure grounds from January 1

The Leisure and Cultural Services Department has geared up for commencement of the Smoking (Public Health) (Amendment) Ordinance 2006 by implementing anti-smoking arrangement in some 1,500 LCSD public pleasure grounds from January 1.

Smoking will be prohibited on beaches, in public swimming pools, stadia, sports grounds, sports centres, and most of the parks and playgrounds.

Under the ordinance, the Director of Leisure and Cultural Services is empowered to designate "smoking areas" in public pleasure grounds. In this connection, he pays regard to the actual local situation and draws up such plans in consultation with the respective District Councils.

A department spokesman said that with the District Councils starting to participate in the management of some of the department's district facilities from next year onwards, the department had consulted the 18 District Councils on proposals drawn up based on certain principles.

"In the light of the consultation results, a total smoking ban will be implemented in some 1,200 public pleasure grounds. For the rest, 'smoking areas' occupying no more than 1% of the venue size have been specified in about 195 venues while smoking will not be prohibited in about 60 small-scale venues," the department said.

Notices will be posted at the entrances to these public pleasure grounds to clearly indicate whether smoking is prohibited. For the venues with designated smoking areas, there will be maps and directional signs to indicate the location of such areas. A list of the public pleasure grounds and the smoking restriction to be applied can be found on the department website.

Smoking ban will continue to be implemented in the indoor areas of all civic centres, museums and libraries. As for the outdoor areas of cultural venues where the prevailing legislation applies, smoking and no-smoking areas will be specified in accordance with the geographic environment. Clear notices will also be posted.

The spokesman appealed to people to pay attention to the smoking ban
notices and be co-operative.

The department will closely monitor the implementation of the smoking ban after January 1 and review the arrangements. If necessary, the department may refine the arrangements in the light of the views of respective District Councils as well as the actual implementation situation in the districts.

When the new ordinance comes into effect, people found smoking inside the smoke free areas will be advised to stop smoking by venue staff. For those who are unco-operative, venue staff will refer them to the Tobacco Control Office for follow-up action.

People can report any violation to venue staff. For venues without
stationary staff or outside office hours, they can make a report to the
venue management or the Tobacco Control Office by calling the enquiry or
complaint hotlines displayed at the entrances to the venues.

Ends/Saturday, December 30, 2006
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