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Jian-Kang Elementary School recently implemented an unprecedented smoke-free policy around the school in Taipei City. Abiding the Tobacco Hazards Prevention Act, Taipei City Government’s Department of Health, will fine violators between NTD2,000 (USD68) to NTD10,000 (USD341). The number of schools following the same policy will increase to 24 in the new semester starting in September.

 

Violators can be fined NTD2,000 (USD68) to NTD10,000 (USD341)

 

Taipei City Councilor Hong-Wei Wang (王鴻薇) said she has received petitions from students’ parents, complaining that despite school’s smoke-free policy, some buildings and classrooms next to off-campus sidewalks, where civilians smoke, are suffering from second-hand smoke. Second-hand smoke will harm teachers and students, especially children attending kindergarten classes on the first floor. Wang urged to incorporate sidewalks into smoke-free zones in early March and her proposal has received public attention.

 

Hsiu-Lian Lin (林秀亮), Deputy Commissioner of the Taipei City Government's Bureau of Health, said Jian-Kang Elementary School will post notices for 14 days, mark green lines along a perimeter of 400 meters of sidewalks surrounding the school, set up no smoking signs on pedestrian and remove trash bins which installed ashtrays for cigarette butts.

 

        Chen-Cheng Chou (周真貞), Director of Songshan District Health Center in Taipei, emphasized that officers will inspect the smoke-free sidewalks within the perimeter every morning and afternoon in May and fine violators. In addition, fifty members from anti-smoking volunteer group will persuade smokers not to smoke around school areas in shifts.

 

Policy expands to 24 schools in September

 

        Ping-Nan Chao (趙平南), section chief of Physical and Health Care at Taipei City Government’s Bureau of Education, pointed out, in addition to Jian-Kang Elementary School, 4 senior high schools, 6 junior high schools and 13 elementary schools will follow the policy in the near future.

 

Smokers criticize policy discriminating

 

Ching-Li Lin (林清麗), Chief of John Tung Foundation’s Tobacco Control Division, World Health Organization emphasizes that smoking prevention should start within and expand to the outside. Taipei City Government is the first to implement the policy, and yet there are still many loopholes in the indoor and public places smoke-free policy, such as a high complaint rate of violations in Internet cafe. The basic solution is that government should strengthen the smoking ban and actively help smokers quit to prevent an increase in smoking population.
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Modify Dete:2015/01/26 Publish Date:2012/05/22