Taiwan to ban indoor smoking

January 10th, 2009 - 10:09 pm ICT by IANS  

Taipei, Jan 10 (DPA) Taiwan will take a giant step in its anti-smoking campaign Sunday by banning smoking indoors across the island, the Department of Health (DOH) said Saturday.Under the new rule, all offices and indoor facilities like department stores, restaurants, cafes, airports and railway station will ban smoking.

Smoking will also be banned in indoor working environments where three or more people work together.

People who violate the rule by lighting up in these places will face a 2,000-10,000 Taiwan dollar ($60-$100) fine.

Indoor facilities which provide cigarette lighter or ash tray will face a 10,000-50,000 Taiwan dollar ($300-$1,500) fine, DOH said.

On Saturday, DOH Director-General Yeh Chin-chuan, wearing a white T-shirt with the anti-smoking sign, presided over a ceremony announcing the launch of the campaign Sunday.

He said the government is determined to cut the smoking population and reduce smoking-related diseases. The ceremony ended with health workers shouting “Smoking-free Taiwan! Yes, We Can!”

Under the strict rule, Taiwan airports will shut their smoking rooms and Taiwan airlines will stop voluntarily selling cigarettes during flights.

Cigarettes will no longer be listed on the duty-free goods catalogue, and will only be sold if passengers ask to buy cigarettes in-flight, the Central News Agency said.

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