Is enough being done to police the smoking ban?

First published: 24th August 2009

I must thank P. A. Crush (Talkback, 24th August) for advising me that I should "get realistic" about smoking offenders in lifts. To move the debate forwards, can P. A. Crush explain realism in this context?

I agree with P. A. Crush that the Police have more important duties than chasing smokers, but, as part of the explanation I mentioned in my previous letter, TCO officers told me that I could call the Police, and an Officer's statement would be sufficient evidence to allow the TCO to proceed with prosecution when statements from building caretakers were insufficient. Does P.A. Crush think the TCO should develop fast response teams that can attend an incident within minutes?

Perhaps P. A. Crush's realism is to give in, and let the actions of a minority harm the health of all? The opposite extreme would be to ban tobacco from Hong Kong entirely - this, at least, is a solution with a proven tack record: opium smoking was banned, and today narcotic abuse is rare.

Three choices, P. A. Crush: i) repeal the smoking restrictions, disband the TCO and let Hong Kong choke; ii) ban tobacco entirely, and enforce the ban the same as other dangerous drugs; or iii) make the restrictions work for smokers and non-smokers. Which is your reality?

Finally, can the TCO reply in these pages, explaining how to collect the current evidence necessary for prosecution?

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