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DH conducts joint operation with Police against waterpipe smoking in no smoking areas

HK

DH conducts joint operation with Police against waterpipe smoking in no smoking areas
HK

HK

DH conducts joint operation with Police against waterpipe smoking in no smoking areas

2024-06-14 10:30 Last Updated At:06-15 02:00

Taco and police crack down on illegal waterpipe smoking in mong kok and tsim sha tsui, issuing nine fpns and warning bar operators of prosecution

The Tobacco and Alcohol Control Office (TACO) of the Department of Health (DH) yesterday (June 13) evening conducted a joint operation with the Police against illegal waterpipe smoking activities in no smoking areas in Mong Kok and Tsim Sha Tsui.

During the operation, law enforcement officers (including plainclothes officers) issued a total of nine fixed penalty notices (FPNs) to persons illegally smoking waterpipes at two bars. The TACO's investigation is ongoing and prosecution may also be taken against operators of the bars/restaurants who are suspected of contravening the Smoking (Public Health) Ordinance (Cap. 371) (the Ordinance) and the Criminal Procedure Ordinance (Cap. 221) for aiding and abetting smoking offences.

Under the Ordinance, conducting a smoking act in a statutory no smoking area (such as indoor areas of bars or restaurants) is prohibited. Any persondoing a smoking act in statutory no smoking areas are liable to a fixed penalty of $1,500. Moreover, where tobacco products (including waterpipes) are sold, in bars or otherwise, restrictions on the sale and promotion of tobacco products stipulated in the Ordinance apply. Venue managers of statutory no smoking areas are empowered by the Ordinance to request the smoking offender to cease the act; if the offender is not co-operative, he/she may contact the Police for assistance.

Also, under the Criminal Procedure Ordinance, any person who aids, abets, counsels or procures the commission by another person of any offence shall be guilty of the like offence. A spokesman for the DH appeals to operators and venue mangers of bars/restaurants not to assist any person in breaching the statutory smoking prohibition, or provide a waterpipe apparatus and tobacco to customers for use.

A DH spokesman stressed that the TACO will follow up and investigate every complaint about illegal smoking, and will conduct inspections and take enforcement actions in the venue concerned. The TACO will also conduct joint inspections and enforcement actions (including plainclothes operations) with other law enforcement agencies from time to time with a view to enhancing the effectiveness of law enforcement. The DH will continue to closely monitor and to take stringent enforcement actions to tackle illegal waterpipe smoking.In the past 12 months, the TACO conducted 25 decoy operations against illegal waterpipe smoking activities in no smoking areas. A total of 77 FPNs were issued against smoking offenders and while 74 summonses were issued to staff members and operators of the bars/restaurants for other related offences.

The spokesman said that waterpipe is a smoking product and its combustion of fuel (e.g. charcoal) releases high concentrations of carbon monoxide. Due to deeper inhalation and longer smoking session, waterpipe users usually inhale more toxins than they would when smoking cigarettes. A typical one-hour waterpipe smoking session exposes the user to 100 to 200 times the volume of smoke inhaled from a single conventional cigarette. Besides, sharing the waterpipe apparatus increases the risk of infectious disease transmission such as tuberculosis. For more information on the hazards of waterpipe smoking, please visit www.livetobaccofree.hk/pdfs/waterpipe_leaflet_new.pdf. The spokesman cautions against waterpipe smoking or the use of other smoking products. Smokers should quit smoking as early as possible for their own health and that of others.

HKETO Jakarta celebrates 27th anniversary of HKSAR establishment at dragon boat event

The Jakarta International Dragon Boat Festival (JIDBF) 2024 sponsored by the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in Jakarta (HKETO Jakarta) was held in Jakarta, Indonesia, today (July 13) to celebrate the 27th anniversary of the establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR).

Speaking at the prize presentation ceremony, the Director-General of the HKETO Jakarta, Miss Libera Cheng, said that the Hong Kong International Dragon Boat Races held in Hong Kong last month attracted over 4 000 athletes from around the world, serving as a signature mega event for both Hong Kong and the international dragon boat community. She expressed delight in recognising the JIDBF's devotion to advancing dragon boat activities overseas with the continued support of the HKETO Jakarta.

"The HKETO Jakarta is committed to fostering Hong Kong's people-to-peoples ties with Indonesia and other countries in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). In connection with the 27th anniversary of the establishment of the HKSAR, we hope to promote the rich and diverse Chinese culture to the Indonesian community by supporting the JIDBF once again," she added.

Miss Cheng also said that Hong Kong is forging ahead with its mega-event economy. Over 200 mega events are scheduled to be staged in the city this year, covering not only traditional fields like finance and economic development, but also such areas as arts and culture, creative industries and sports.

The JIDBF 2024 was attended by over 1 200 athletes. The HKETO Jakarta also invited two Hong Kong dragon boat teams to take part in the races in Indonesia for the first time, with a view to deepening exchanges among athletes from different places and adding further impetus to the internationalisation of the JIDBF. Both Hong Kongdragon boat teams delivered outstanding performance in the competition.

Following the collaboration at the Boracay International Dragon Boat Festival in the Philippines in April this year, the HKETO Jakarta joined forces with the Hong Kong China Dragon Boat Association again to set up an exhibition at the event venue to showcase Hong Kong's history as the birthplace of modern dragon boat races. The HKETO Jakarta also displayed at its booth Hong Kong's mega-event calendar, encouraging the Indonesian community to visit Hong Kong to see the city's vibrancy as a mega-event capital.

The JIDBF was launched in 2017 with the support of the HKETO Jakarta and has since grown rapidly into a local signature event supported by the Jakarta Provincial Government.

HKETO Jakarta celebrates 27th anniversary of HKSAR establishment at dragon boat event  Source: HKSAR Government Press Releases

HKETO Jakarta celebrates 27th anniversary of HKSAR establishment at dragon boat event Source: HKSAR Government Press Releases

HKETO Jakarta celebrates 27th anniversary of HKSAR establishment at dragon boat event  Source: HKSAR Government Press Releases

HKETO Jakarta celebrates 27th anniversary of HKSAR establishment at dragon boat event Source: HKSAR Government Press Releases

HKETO Jakarta celebrates 27th anniversary of HKSAR establishment at dragon boat event  Source: HKSAR Government Press Releases

HKETO Jakarta celebrates 27th anniversary of HKSAR establishment at dragon boat event Source: HKSAR Government Press Releases

HKETO Jakarta celebrates 27th anniversary of HKSAR establishment at dragon boat event  Source: HKSAR Government Press Releases

HKETO Jakarta celebrates 27th anniversary of HKSAR establishment at dragon boat event Source: HKSAR Government Press Releases

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