Taipei to ban smoking around convenience stores, coffee shops from Sept. 1

Taipei to ban smoking in pedestrian arcades in front of convenience stores, coffee shops effective Sept. 1

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(Photos from Taipei Department of Health)

(Photos from Taipei Department of Health)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- Taipei will ban smoking in front of 15 convenience store chains and cafes starting on Sept. 1.

Huang Shier-chieg (黃世傑), head of the city's department of health, on Monday (Aug. 19), said that smoking will be banned in front of convenience stores and cafes, stating Sept. 1, reported CNA. Those who violate the ban in Taipei could face fines of between NT$2,000 to NT$10,000 for breaching the Tobacco Hazards Prevention Act (菸害防制法).

The chains affected by the new smoking ban include 7-Eleven, FamilyMart, OK Mart, Simple Mart, and Hi-Life convenience stores, as well as Starbucks, 85℃ Cafe, Louisa Coffee, Mr. Brown Coffee, Dante Coffee, Ikari Coffee, Barista Coffee, Cama Cafe, Crown & Fancy, and Peter Better Cafe. Huang said that smoking is prohibited on the first-floor arcade in front of these chains, but the second floor or higher and outside areas not considered part of the arcade are not within the scope of the announcement.

Huang said that as of July of this year, Taipei had announced the establishment of 2,569 smoke-free areas, including 24 public parks and green spaces, reported CNA. According to a poll conducted in May of this year, the public supported a ban on smoking in arcades.

Therefore, Taipei is implementing a ban on the arcades in front of 15 convenience store and coffee shop chains, effective Sept. 1. A similar ban on smoking on the pedestrian arcades around convenience stores and coffee shops in New Taipei City will also go into effect on Sept. 1.

Sun Li-chiang (孫立強), a manager at Ikari Coffee told CNA that customers often smoke in front of the shop while drinking coffee. He said they often ask staff members to provide cups as ashtrays for cigarettes.

Sun said the stench of smoke often wafts into the shop. He said that he is looking forward to Sept. 1, when smokers will finally be banned from lighting up in the arcade outside the shop.

Hilife manager Hsu Hong-wen (許鴻文) told CNA that many customers complain about people smoking outside his store. He said he is looking forward to the ban finally going into effect to help alleviate the situation.