13 fined on 1st day of smoking ban around convenience stores, coffee shops in greater Taipei

13 smokers, stores fined on 1st day of smoking ban in front of convenience stores, coffee shops in Taipei, New Taipei

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(Photo from Taipei Department of Health)

(Photo from Taipei Department of Health)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- On Sunday (Sept. 1), the first day that bans on smoking went into effect in front of convenience stores and coffee shops in Taipei and New Taipei City, a total of 13 citations have been issued.

On Sunday, two people were cited for violations of the law in Taipei City, while 11 were issued tickets in New Taipei City, reported ETtoday. In one case, a fine was levied on a convenience store for providing ashtrays outside its doors.

Effective on Sept. 1, smoking was banned on the pedestrian arcades around 15 convenience store and coffee shop chains in Taipei City and New Taipei City. 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.

Taipei Health Commissioner Huang Shier-chieh (黃世傑) said that the smoking ban on arcades was intended to help cigarette addicts quit smoking and protect the health of non-smokers by "increasing the inconvenience to smokers," reported ETtoday. Huang said that a survey showed that as much as 87.1 percent of Taipei residents support the smoking ban.


Man smoking in prohibited area. (CNA photo)

Taipei Health Department official Lin Meng-hui (林夢蕙) was cited by CNA as saying that as of 4 p.m. on Sunday, one person was ticketed for smoking in Songshan District, while another was caught lighting up in Neihu District. Both received fines of NT$2,000 (US$63), according to Lin.

Chen Hsin-jung (陳欣蓉), head of the Health Management Section of the New Taipei Health Department said that the department and police inspected 67 sites on the first day, reported Liberty Times. Chen said that a total of 236 shop managers and 44 smokers were given warnings.

During the inspections on Sunday, 10 people were fined for smoking illegally outside of shops. There was also one case of a convenience store being penalized for placing ashtrays outside for smoking.

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). Meanwhile, shops that provide ashtrays in the banned areas can receive fines of between NT$10,000 and NT$50,000.