The Tobacco Control Office Doesn't Do Call-Outs

First published: 28th July 2010

I regret to report to Wouter van Marle (letters, 29th July) that the Tobacco Control Office does not have an emergency-response capability. I contacted the TCO in early June to report a case of smoking in a lift (case no. 1-238780403) and I am still waiting for TCO Officers to arrive, interview those involved and prosecute the offender.

Smokers continue to flout the law because they are extremely unlikely to get caught. Bar staff are reluctant to fulfil their responsibilities without the support of their management, and their management sees no profit in confronting paying customers, especially when they can move to a bar that ignores the smoking ban. The Government should show its support for responsible bar staff (and other employees that face smoking complaints) by levelling the playing field. Make enforcing the smoking ban the responsibility of the owners and building management. Impose fines for allowing customers and visitors to flout the ban and equip the TCO with rapid-response capability, so that incidents can be dealt with effectively.

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