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New Taipei City in Taiwan will expand smoke-free policy to a perimeter of 10 meters surrounding the government building, including corridors and open space within the public square, starting May 1st. Violators will face a penalty from NT$2,000 (US$68) to NT$10,000 (US$339). Many smokers blamed the city government for taking away their rights even to smoke outdoor, as if smokers are to be decimated.


        New Taipei City Secretariat said, trash bins and ashtrays are placed on both sides of the government building and on public square corridors, as government employees and customers frequently smoke in these areas. According to regulations of Tobacco Hazards Prevention Act, although these semi-open public spaces have covers, they are not considered as smoke-free areas.


However, with increasing crowds and children in the public square, people complained more about the smell of smoke. The City Secretariat staff were embarrassed that their office received nearly 10 petition letters on average per month that either politely wrote that government should maintain the smoke-free image by asking smokers not to smoke or bluntly said that government allowed smokers to gather. Some even compared this to the opium war where national sovereignty was lost. As of February 1st, the City Secretariat posted notices on both sides on the east and west gates and public square corridors, declaring the public square as smoke-free zone.
Modify Date:2015/01/29 Publish Date:2012/05/22