ban on indoors smoking in public spaces will come into effect on January 2012 but casinos will have one more year to set up dedicated smoking areas of up to 50 % of their total public area.
These areas will have to meet technical requirements to be defined in a Chief Executive dispatch. The dispatch will be published this year, Lei said, quoted by TDM News, and it will include standards for the smoking areas. “Even in the smoking areas, they still have to follow our standards. The harmful substances in the air and the places for smoking cannot exceed certain standards. We will punish them if they exceed the standards,” the official pledged.
A survey carried out by the New Macau Association in August showed that only 38.2 % of respondents were aware the new law would be in force next year.
The ‘Anti-Smoking Union’, promoted by the government but made up of local associations will try to build awareness on the upcoming indoor smoking ban. Starting tomorrow, about 2,500 volunteers will hand out flyers and other promotional material on the new law. But after January 1, 2012, there will be no tolerance for establishments who break the law, Lei pledged. He said the police would keep a close eye on the spots with the biggest number of complaints.
SSM will also work with the Tourist Office to make sure visitors know about these restrictions, the official added. According to the latest figures about 16 percent of the local population smokes, slightly less than in 2010, he remarked.