Taipei to ban smoking arcades of convenience stores and coffee shops

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Starting Sep. 1, smoking will be banned at the arcades in front of 15 convenience stores and coffee shops in Taipei.
Starting Sep. 1, smoking will be banned at the arcades in front of 15 convenience stores and coffee shops in Taipei.

TAIPEI (The China Post) — The Department of Health of Taipei City announced on Aug. 19 plans to ban smoking at the arcades in front of 15 convenience stores and coffee shops, violators would be fined from NT$2,000 to NT$10.000.

The convenience stores include 7-Eleven, FamilyMart, Hi-Life, OK Mart and Simple Mart, while the coffee shops include Starbucks, 85 Cafe, Louisa Coffee, Mr. Brown Coffee, Dante Coffee, Ikari Coffee, Barista Coffee, Cama Café, Crown&Fancy, and Peter Better Cafe, the Health Management Division chief Lin Meng-hui said.

Huang Shih-chieh, director-general of the Department of Health, said previous regulations only banned smoking in a few outdoor areas, excluding areas such as arcades and sidewalks where people frequently gather. To protect the public from second-hand smoking, the department has expanded cigarette-free outdoor spaces. Starting from July 2019, Taipei announced to ban on smoking in 24 parks and green areas; as of July 2019, there are 2,569 cigarette-free outdoor spaces in Taipei City.

Huang added that a survey conducted in May this year showed that almost 9 in 10 people support smoking ban in arcades in front of convenience stores and coffee shops.