Alexa

Anti-tobacco groups push for total ban on indoor smoking

Anti-tobacco groups push for total ban on indoor smoking

Taiwan's anti-smoking groups urged the legislature yesterday to allow an amendment to the Tobacco Hazards Prevention Act of 1997 to pass the third reading within the current legislative session, so that smoking in indoor public areas and workplaces can be banned altogether.
The anti-tobacco alliance consisting of 103 civic groups made the appeal after waiting three-and-a-half months for the legislative caucuses of the ruling and opposition parties to begin negotiation to thrash out their differences on a few controversial provisions.
Most provisions of the amendment passed the second reading January 16, except for those providing for a total ban on smoking in indoor public premises and workplaces, because the legislators could not agree on the definition of "indoor public areas."
Chou Yi-heng, chief executive officer of the John Tung Foundation - the largest non-profit anti-smoking organization in Taiwan - and Deng Jou-fang, founder of the Taiwan International Medical Alliance, urged lawmakers not to block the legislation for their own political benefits.
They called on Legislative Yuan Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) to make arrangements as soon as possible for the ruling and opposition party caucuses to begin negotiation on an acceptable version of the amendment.
Former award-winning actor Sun Yueh (孫越), 76, also joined the campaign to push for the early passage of the amendment.
Sun, a smoker for 37 years, developed lung cancer in January - 23 years after he quit his four-packs-a-day habit. The first thing he did April 18 when he recovered from surgery was to appear in an anti-smoking television commercial.
He said that his task is still incomplete as long as there is no total ban on smoking in indoor public places.
The anti-tobacco alliance has been calling on the legislature to pass the amendment in time to implement a total ban on smoking in indoor public areas no later than 2008.


Updated : 2021-04-13 16:09 GMT+08:00