Pingtung News
Smoking is Completely Banned Under the Overhangs of Storefronts over 300 Chained Convenience Stores, Coffee Shops and Fast Food Shops  
Publish Date:2020-03-17    
To maintain all citizens’ health rights of not being exposed to second-hand smoking, Public Health Bureau, Pingtung County Government has collaborated with 19 store chains, totally over 300 chained convenience stores (7-ELEVEN/PCSC, FamilyMart, OK and Hi-Life), coffee shops (Starbucks, 85 Cafe, Louisa Coffee, Dante Coffee, Cama, Runa and Donutes) and fast food shop (McDonald’s, KFC, Pizza Hut, MOS BURGER, Dan Dan Burger, SUBWAY, Domino's Pizza and Napoli Pizza) within its territories, to announce the ban on smoking under the overhangs of storefronts and in storefront sidewalks starting from March 1, 2020 in accordance with Subparagraph 4, Paragraph 1, Article 16 of Tobacco Hazards Prevention Act.

Director of Public Health Bureau Shih Cheng-Kui expressed that Tobacco Hazards Prevention Act regulated only few outdoor areas as non-smoking places, where overhangs of storefronts, sidewalks and other outdoor crowd gathering places are excluded therefrom. According to the investigation data of Health Promotion Administration in 2018, the smoking rate of people aged above 18 years old in the year was 16.9%, which dropped 2.3% from 19.2% of 2017 and was still higher than the country’s average (13%); and the second-hand smoke exposure rate of outdoor places was 48.9% was also higher than the country’s average at 45.6% in 2017.
Not only has building a smoking-free environment been the target for which the Bureau continues to strive, but also smoking ban in public places and promoting a smoking-free environment have been the Bureau’s long-term missions because active, second-hand and even third-hand smoking can all seriously harm people’s hearth. This is the reason that the Bureau has proactively negotiated and communicated with convenience store and coffee shop chains; and conducted a questionnaire survey among citizens to check their support for banning smoking under the overhangs of storefronts and in storefront sidewalks. The survey result indicates that 87.70% people support the said smoking ban and even 65% of them are smokers.

The Bureau indicated that companies who joined the smoking ban under the overhangs of storefronts already completed preparation works and would make an official announcement today. According to the Bureau, the first three months will be the advocacy period and, after the advocacy period, people who continue to smoke under the overhangs of storefronts or in storefront sidewalks will be imposed with a fine of TWD2,000 to TWD10,000 in accordance with Paragraph 1, Article 31 of Tobacco Hazards Prevention Act.