Taichung to ban smoking on covered parts of sidewalks

Taipei-Taichung will ban smoking on covered walkways outside some 1,400 convenience stores and coffee shops beginning in January, after similar measures were carried out in Taipei, New Taipei and Kaohsiung this year.

Stores covered by the ban include 7-Eleven, FamilyMart, Hi-Life, OK Mart, Simple Mart, Starbucks, 85C Bakery Cafe, and Louisa Coffee, the city's Health Bureau said Monday.

In a statement, the bureau said anyone caught smoking in the covered walkways in front of these shops will be subject to fines ranging from NT$2,000 to NT$10,000 (US$332) in accordance with the Tobacco Hazards Prevention Act.

The measure is being put in place to limit the exposure of pedestrians and store visitors to secondhand smoke.

Bureau chief Tseng Tzu-chan (???) said secondhand smoke can be harmful in many ways, and he hoped smokers could be more considerate when it comes to the health of others.

According to the Taichung Health Bureau, it has also joined forces with 629 clinics and hospitals in the city to offer services to those who wish to quit smoking.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel