Taipei’s Hu cites volunteers promoting tobacco-free city


TAIPEI — Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin cited restaurants and volunteers promoting a tobacco-free environment yesterday.

At a citation-presentation ceremony held at Taipei City Hall, Hau noted that since the country’s Tobacco Hazard Control Act was implemented in 1997, Taipei City government has been promoting an indoor tobacco-free environment in many public places, including restaurants, with the assistance of civic organizations, including the John Tung Foundation.

To date, there are more than 2,600 restaurants around Taipei in which smoking is forbidden, and 311 working places in the city with indoor places free of tobacco, Hau said, adding that those results are the best for any city in Taiwan.

Hau stressed that cigarettes contain some 4,000 chemicals, of which more than 40 are carcinogenic in humans, citing the study conducted by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of the United States as saying that people exposed to second-hand smoking environment will have a 30 percent higher chance of getting cancer.

Noting that there is a world trend towards creating tobacco-free environments, Hau said many places, including California, Minnesota and Hong Kong are even promoting the creation of an outdoor tobacco-free environment. Hau added that there is still much room for improvement in Taipei City in this regard.

According to a survey conducted by Taipei Medical University, more than 70 percent of the public is satisfied with the campaign to promote tobacco-free restaurants, while 85 percent of the people support continuing such campaigns.

At the ceremony, Hau also presented certificates to restaurants which newly joined the list of tobacco-free places and gave citations to volunteers who have promoted a tobacco-free outdoor environment, in places including parks, plazas and zoos.